State, local agencies step up search for 5-year-old Fruitland boy. Here’s how to help

The search is intensifying for a 5-year-old boy reported missing in Fruitland and last seen Tuesday.

An increasing number of state and local agencies are searching for Michael Joseph Vaughn, a young boy who went missing around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday near his home on SW 9th Street in Fruitland, according to a Wednesday night news release from the Fruitland Police Department.

In addition to state and local law enforcement and crews from the Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue Team, the Army National Guard sent a helicopter to search the area where the child went missing. The agencies searched nearby canals while water levels were lower and did not find the child. Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue was then released, as authorities believe the area surrounding the home was thoroughly searched.

Fruitland police are encouraging the public to remain vigilant and observant. Police want everyone in the immediate area to check their properties and security footage for any signs of the child.

For any residents who want to help, the Fruitland Police Department is coordinating search efforts where anyone can participate. Community searches were scheduled to begin Thursday morning and last until 1 p.m. Police also want anyone searching to remain respectful of property owners and contact them before searching an area.

Police describe Michael Joseph Vaughn as being 43 inches tall and weighting about 50 pounds. He has blond hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a light blue Minecraft video game T-shirt and dark blue boxer briefs. He responds to the nickname of Monkey, according to police.

If you or someone you know has information on the child’s whereabouts, call the Payette County Sheriff’s Office at 208-642-6006, extension 0.