5-year-old boy has been missing for nearly a week; last seen near an ‘open field’

Authorities in Idaho are continuing to search for a 5-year-old boy who has been missing for nearly a week.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Michael Joseph Vaughan was last seen on Tuesday evening in Fruitland. Authorities have not yet disclosed whether the boy was alone or with other people at the time of his disappearance. The Idaho Statesman reports that the area where he was last seen is adjacent to an “open field.” It is also close to the boy’s home.

According to that report, the Fruitland Police Department gave a news conference on Saturday afternoon, reinforcing the department’s commitment to the search for Michael.

Fruitland police Chief J.D. Huff reportedly said that multiple agencies are involved in the investigation, including the FBI. Investigators have not indicated if they believe foul play may be involved.

The boy’s parents were present at Saturday’s news conference, and his mother referred to her son by his nickname, “Monkey.”

“Anyone who has any information, please contact the Fruitland (police),” Michael’s mother, Brandi Neal, said at the news conference. “We just want our Monkey home. We miss our baby and we want him home.”

When Michael was last seen, he was reportedly wearing blue Minecraft T-shirt, blue flip flops, and black and green boxer briefs. He has blond hair and blue eyes, and stands 3 feet 7 inches tall, weighing about 50 pounds.

Huff declined to discuss details of the investigation, according to the Idaho Statesman, but urged residents to check their properties and exterior buildings for signs of the boy.

“We’ve got a 5-year-old kid out there,” Huff said. “He can wander in and out of places super easy, into people’s backyards.”

The police chief also asked anyone who was in the area on Tuesday night to contact authorities.

“Even if you don’t believe you have something that’s relevant … we want you to contact us so we can re-create a complete picture of the time that Michael was last seen,” Huff said.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Fruitland Police at 208-642-6006, extension 0.

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