Nearly two months after 5-year-old Michael Joseph Vaughan disappeared from his Idaho neighborhood, police announced Friday that a reward fund for the child’s safe return has more than doubled as investigators continue to follow up on hundreds of tips.
The reward grew to $26,000 following “an extremely generous” donation to the family, which they immediately sent to the city’s reward fund along with another large amount, the Fruitland Police Department said. Earlier this month, an anonymous resident donated $10,000 to start the fund.
Local and state police, along with FBI investigators, were continuing to follow up on more than 415 tips that have poured in since Vaughan went missing near his home in Fruitland – a small community of 5,400 residents – on the evening of July 27, police said.
“In that time, the search has taken on several phases,” police said. “But please know, what has not changed is our commitment and our hope to bring this little boy back to our community and to those who love him.”
Investigators still don’t know what happened to the child despite an exhaustive search effort involving more than a dozen law enforcement agencies, K-9 units, dive teams, paragliders and drones.
The reward was placed in an account with the city of Fruitland and will remain active through Nov. 15.
Vaughan, who answers to the nickname “Monkey,” was last seen wearing a light blue Minecraft shirt and black boxer briefs as well as size 11 flip-flop sandals.