Family of missing Idaho boy, 5, speaks out one month after disappearance: ‘Our Family is broken right now’

Family of missing Idaho boy, 5, speaks out one month after disappearance: ‘Our Family is broken right now’

August 25, 2021

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The family of a 5-year-old boy who vanished from their small Idaho town one month ago has addressed the disappearance, saying that while their “family is broken right now,” they have not given up hope that investigators and the community will help bring their child home.

Michael Joseph Vaughan went missing near his home in Fruitland on the evening of July 27. Investigators still don’t know what happened to the child despite an exhaustive month-long search effort involving more than a dozen law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, K-9 units, dive teams, paragliders and drones.

On Tuesday, Vaughan’s family, who call him by his nickname “Monkey,” released a written statement through the Fruitland Police Department.

“Our Family is broken right now,” the family said. “Monkey’s sisters are missing there (sic) partner in crime, and his brother won’t play Minecraft until Michael comes home. Monkey, your Mommy and Daddy miss you more than anything in this world. We need you home to be whole. We are so grateful for every single persons’ prayers, kind words, sharing his picture and any little step to help bring Michael home.” 

The family of missing 5-year-old Michael Joseph Vaughan on Tuesday said that their "family is broken right now" as they hold onto hope that the child will be brought home after he vanished one month ago.
(Fruitland Police Department)

The family thanked the community for its continued support and praised law enforcement and volunteers for pouring countless hours into the effort to bring Vaughan home.

As the search passes the one-month mark, police said that ground searches will continue. Specialized teams and resources also remain available but will be used on a more targeted and as-needed basis, depending on changing ground, water, or other conditions.

Vaughan, who answers to his nickname "Monkey," went missing near his home in Fruitland, Idaho, on July 27. As the exhaustive search effort in the small town of 5,400 residents reached the one-month mark, authorities still do not know what happened to the child. 
(Fruitland Police Department)

Police said the family continues to be cooperative and understanding in the investigation.

More than 330 tips have poured in regarding the case, police said. While investigators have yet to find any answers as to what happened to Vaughan, authorities said they remain committed to finding the boy.

“As the days pass, the search may move into new phases, but our investigators will scrutinize every detail, pour over every tip, and keep the search for Michael a priority,” Fruitland police said.

Vaughan, who answers to the nickname “Monkey,” was last seen wearing a light blue Minecraft shirt and black boxer briefs as well as size 11 flip-flop sandals. 

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