A 5-year-old Idaho boy disappeared last week from outside his home, authorities said Wednesday amid a desperate search to find him.
Michael Joseph Vaughan was last seen near his Fruitland home on July 27. Investigators believe the boy is “endangered” and have asked residents to search their properties, vehicles and irrigation ditches for any clues about his whereabouts.
Fruitland police Chief JD Huff confirmed to The Post that Michael remained missing early Wednesday. More information on the search for the boy will be released at a City Hall press conference set for 2 p.m., Huff said.
The chief did not respond to inquiries whether there’s any indication Michael – whose nickname is “Monkey” — may have been kidnapped.
“Our search efforts are still ongoing and extensive,” Fruitland police said in a statement Tuesday. “Our main focus is to locate Michael … Please stay vigilant and send us any information you feel may help locate Michael.”
A grid search of Fruitland two days after Michael disappeared included aircraft, drones and canines that “completely” covered the city and its surrounding areas, but led to no break in the case.
Cops also announced they wouldn’t be organizing another search involving the public barring new facts in the investigation. Police had previously asked residents to take part in the search for the missing boy last seen wearing a light blue Minecraft T-shirt, dark blue boxer briefs and blue flip flops.
“Every minute counts when searching for a missing child and we appreciate the public’s continued support and cooperation as we search for Michael,” Fruitland police said Thursday. “We also ask residents [to] review any security camera footage or sign of a small child in the area.”
The boy’s family, meanwhile, is cooperating with investigators, police said, while asking for the public to respect their privacy.
“I just want to thank the community and all of the agencies that have been continuously, tirelessly looking for him,” Michael’s mother, Brandi Neal, told reporters at a press conference Saturday, KATU reported. “We just want our ‘Monkey’ home.”
Multiple law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, are involved in the search for Michael, focusing on areas near his home, the Argus Observer reported.