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Reward to find missing Fruitland boy grows to $26,000

Crime Watch

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FRUITLAND — A reward for the safe return of a missing 5-year-old Fruitland boy continues to grow.

The Fruitland Police Department announced Friday the reward for Michael Joseph Vaughn has grown to $26,000. Michael who is known by his family as “monkey” vanished from his home on July 27 and both local and federal investigators have been searching for him since.

“Our best answer has been to support the search for the missing 5-year-old, be it in prayer or positive action,” Fruitland Police officials said in a news release. “We have witnessed this and we’ve reported to you as often as we can on how this community has done just that.”

The Vaughn family reportedly received a large donation to help in the search for Micheal and immediately turned the funds over to the police’s reward fund. On Sept. 2, Fruitland Police received a $10,000 donation to create the reward fund and it continues to grow.

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It is not clear exactly how Micheal disappeared, but police and other searchers flooded his Fruitland neighborhood moments after his family called to report him missing. Investigators searched canals, farm fields, homes, rivers and even septic tanks for any sign of the boy.

“Officers with the Fruitland Police Department and investigators from the FBI and the Idaho State Police are continuing to follow up on more than 415 tips received since Michael disappeared,” police officials said. “In that time, the search has taken on several phases. But please know, what has not changed is our commitment and our hope to bring this little boy back to our community and to those who love him.”

He was last seen wearing a light blue Minecraft t-shirt with dark blue boxer briefs. He is 43 inches tall, 50 lbs, and has blonde hair and blue eyes.

Tips can be sent by email to findmichael@fruitland.org or to Crime Stoppers, 343COPS.com. Tipsters may remain anonymous.

The $26,000 reward remains available until Nov. 15.

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