FRUITLAND, Idaho — Tuesday marks seven weeks since the official search began for 5-year-old Michael Joseph Vaughan, and police in his hometown of Fruitland say they've received at least 401 tips.
Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue, Idaho State Police and the FBI have joined Fruitland Police in searching for Vaughan and investigating tips related to his disappearance.
Vaughan, nicknamed "Monkey," was last seen July 27 near Southwest 9th Street and South Arizona Avenue in Fruitland. He has blond hair, blue eyes, is about 3-foot-7 and was last seen wearing a blue Minecraft t-shirt and dark blue briefs.
Each of the 401 tips called in to tip lines as of Monday night has been assigned to an investigator for follow-up, the Fruitland Police Department said Monday evening in a news release posted to Facebook.
"As we work to scrutinize data, we will be re-interviewing some individuals in the effort to make sure no detail is missed," the post continued.
Fruitland Police also said another Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue team with a specialized canine was deployed this week to search the area around SW 9th Street and an area north of the "primary search area."
"They have been a tremendous resource and have helped us cover thousands of acres of ground," Fruitland Police said about Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue.
The post also included the following statement:
"We want our community know that Michael is our priority and the needs of the investigation and search demand a huge amount of our attention. As we enter this detailed phase of this investigation, we're doing our best with regular updates posted to this page. Again, our public updates may not sound like 'breaking news,' and a bit repetitive, but we hope they help members of our community understand our efforts continue. Our $10,000 reward is available to anyone having information leading us to the safe return of Michael...
"We remain hopeful. Sometimes answers come slow, but the Fruitland Police Department and our partners remain committed to bringing Michael home safe. We thank you for your support..."
Anyone with information about Michael Vaughan is asked to contact Fruitland Police dispatch at 208-642-6006 or submit a tip via email.
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