Police Now Say 5-Year-Old Michael Vaughn, Missing Since July, Likely Kidnapped Near Home

Police investigators in Idaho now say missing 5-year-old Michael Vaughn was likely abducted near his home back in July, the Associated Press reported.

Fruitland Police Chief J.D. Huff said during a news conference Thursday that the search for Michael won't stop until the boy is found.

Huff said no headway has been made despite exhaustive ground searches in a two-mile radius of the family home over the past few months with the use of search dogs, drones, helicopters, local homeowners and several law enforcement agencies. That increases the likelihood that Michael was abducted, Huff said.

Since the 5-year-old's disappearance, more than a dozen law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, have scoured 3,000 acres of land in rural western Idaho, 29 miles of riverbank, drained canals and combed through dozens of files of security footage, reported Fox News.

"We've received several credible tips," Huff said. "We work on those every single day. We just find that they take us nowhere at the end of the day."

Michael went missing from his neighborhood in Fruitland, a small Idaho community, on July 27. He was last seen outside his home around 6:30 p.m., wearing a light blue Minecraft T-shirt, dark blue boxer briefs and flip-flops. He's described as being 3 feet 6 inches tall with blond hair, blue eyes and weighing 50 pounds and responds to the nickname "Monkey."

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Crime Scene, Police Tape, Philadelphia
Tape cordons off the scene of a shooting in the Ogontz section of Philadelphia on Aug. 15, 2019. Matt Rourke/AP Photo

At Thursday's news conference, the boy's mother, Brandi Neal, asked for help from the public, saying her family is broken without him.

"I'm here to ask you to please keep Michael's face, his name and his story in every one of your hearts, your eyes and your minds," she said. "If you know anything at all, if you know something, please, I am begging. This is my baby, this is my son. I need him home."

Though they are not suspects, police are searching for at least four people who were in the area around the time Michael disappeared. Two of them were seen on foot on the evening of July 27, while two vehicles — a Honda Pilot and a Dodge Avenger — left the area that same night.

A city reward fund of $50,100 is available for anyone who provides information that leads to Michael's safe return, Huff said. The funds will be available until March 31, 2022.

Authorities are asking anyone with information to call Fruitland Police dispatch at 208-642-6006 or to email findmichael@fruitland.org.