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Woman charged with failure to report the death of Michael Vaughan is ruled fit to proceed

Sarah Wondra was found fit to proceed in court by a state doctor. A judge signed off on it Monday morning.

PAYETTE, Idaho — The woman charged with the failure to report the death of Michael Vaughan, the young boy who went missing from Fruitland in 2021, is now fit to proceed in court.

Sarah Wondra, 35, was declared mentally fit to proceed in a hearing on Monday morning after being held at the state hospital in Blackfoot. She has been held in the state hospital since November of 2022.

 A Payette County judge said a recent Idaho Department of Health and Welfare report indicates a state psychologist recommended Wondra be able to continue in court proceedings.

Neither the state or defense objected to the recommendation.

The judge later signed off on the report based on the doctor's recommendations and will also sign an order transporting Wondra back to Payette County to be present for her upcoming status conference on April 17, and preliminary hearing on April 18. Wondra's defense plans to argue bond at the next hearing.

Wondra was arrested Nov. 12  at her home in Fruitland. She was one of the occupants of a house on Redwing Street in Fruitland that investigators began searching a day earlier, after receiving a lead that came from what Fruitland Police Chief J.D. Huff called "a very credible tip" related to the disappearance of Vaughan, who was 5 years old when last seen in his Fruitland neighborhood in July of 2021.

Police said they believed Vaughan's remains were located in the backyard at the Wondra's residence, but his body was never found after days of excavation.

Police later announced the identities of two more people thought to have firsthand knowledge in the abduction of Vaughan -- Brandon Shurtliff, 30, believed to be somewhere in North Dakota; and Adrien Lucienne, 32, believed to be somewhere in Toledo, Ohio, or California. 

Shurtliff and Lucienne were living in the Wondra's home at the time of Michael's disappearance.

For an entire overview of the case, click here.

Meanwhile, Michael Vaughan is still considered missing, and anyone with information that may help solve the case is encouraged to reach out. Submit tips to Crime Stoppers at 208-343-COPS (208-343-2677) or email findmichael@fruitland.org.  

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