Missing: Michael Vaughn
A woman has been detained by police in southwest Idaho in relation to the disappearance of a 5-year-old kid who vanished more than a year ago.
According to CBS station KMTV, Fruitland Police Chief J.D. Huff stated that authorities think Sarah Wondra, 35, may have known about the child’s death. She faces a felony accusation of failing or delaying death notification.
No attorney for Wondra is indicated in court documents. She was supposed to appear in court for the first time on Monday in afternoon.
Michael Vaughan was last seen on July 27, 2021, in front of his home in Fruitland, an isolated community in southwest Idaho, some 50 miles northwest of Boise. Vaughan was last seen with black boxer briefs, sandals, and a light-blue Minecraft shirt, according to the Idaho State Police.
Months of searching by police and other law enforcement organizations turned up nothing. The young kid turned 6 on June 24, 2022.
On Saturday, searchers resumed their search and dug up a backyard belonging to a residence in Fruitland not far from Vaughan’s house using a tractor and specially trained cadaver dogs.
“We learned during the investigation that Michael Vaughan’s remains may still be out there somewhere. Thus, we were able to secure a search warrant “explained Huff on Saturday.
A reliable tip led police to the house, and Wondra was one of the residents, Huff told Boise television station KTVB on Monday.
We don’t think she is the only one who knows about this, and we’ll be looking for anyone who might be related, Huff said.
In search for Vaughan’s remains, investigators have excavated a significant portion of the backyard of the house. Huff stated that the entire yard will be dug up.
According to KMTV, Huff added, “This is tough work.” “We’ll need some time to complete this. However, we won’t give up. The information we received has us feeling reasonably assured.”
A TikTok video she posted on the social media site revealed that she had stuck Michael Vaughan’s missing person flyer, which featured several photos of him, to her kitchen refrigerator.
Fruitland Police Chief JD Huff told local news outlet KTVB that police received a “very credible tip” that led them to excavate the yard on Redwing Street, which is not far from Michael’s home on Southwest Ninth Street.
“During the course of the investigation we received information the remains of Michael Vaughan might be found [behind the house],” Huff said when the search began on Saturday. “As a result, we obtained a search warrant. We have not found anything yet, but we will continue to excavate in hopes of finding his remains.”
Huff said the couple that lives in the home where the search is being conducted does not own it, and to his knowledge, they have no connection to the Vaughan family.
“[Police] have a backhoe, they have canines, and they’re putting dirt into a dump truck and they’re going away, then they’re sifting through that dirt,” Lauren Matthias, the host of Hidden: A True Crime Podcast and a spokesperson for the Vaughan family told News Nation.
“They did go over to the Neal home, to Brandi’s home, and told them yesterday morning, ‘This is happening. We have a tip; we are looking for remains.’”