FRUITLAND, Idaho — Editor's Note: The video above, which focuses on the Fruitland community's fundraising efforts for Michael Vaughan's family, first aired on August 21.
It's been four weeks since Michael Vaughan was last seen in his neighborhood in Fruitland, Idaho. Since then, law enforcement from local, state and federal agencies have searched the rural community for the missing five-year-old boy.
On Tuesday, the family of Michael Vaughan spoke out for the first time in a statement released by the Fruitland Police Department. The family said in a statement that they're thankful to everyone who has helped search for their missing boy. However, Michael's disappearance has been devastating.
"Our Family is broken right now. Monkey's sisters are missing their 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," the family wrote.
According to the Fruitland Police Department, more than 330 tips have been submitted to authorities, including one from more than 2,100 miles away that was cleared.
"Our hearts are with Michael's family. None of us have walked in their shoes. We only know this is a most difficult time, yet they continue to be cooperative and understanding," the department wrote.
Fruitland police added that searches through land, water and air are still ongoing but will be more targeted as needed.
"To our residents of Fruitland and Payette County, we thank you for your support throughout this past month. You continue to answer your door or phone when investigators call with more questions to clarify details and there will definitely be more questions that need to be answered," police wrote.
Michael has blond hair, blue eyes, is about 3-foot-7 and was last seen wearing a blue Minecraft t-shirt and dark blue briefs near Southwest 9th Street and South Arizona Avenue in Fruitland on July 27.
Tips about Michael's possible whereabouts can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org or 343COPS.com.
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