Idaho boy missing for months and thousands offered in reward

Image copyright Police Image caption Jessica Vaughan says her son hasn’t eaten or slept for more than a week

Police in Idaho’s Pocatello area are offering new details about the search for her five-year-old son, who has been missing for the past few months.

They have also asked the public for more information on their views of how Michael Joseph Vaughan was last seen by his mother on 31 December.

His mother told police that Michael was with his father, Danny Vaughan, in Parachute, Arizona, when she decided he needed to spend the night.

The police said that they had no solid evidence to support this statement.

The mother, Jessica Vaughan, also told police that when she went to Arizona to take Michael to a therapy session she borrowed her mother’s vehicle and stopped off at a grocery store.

Image copyright Police Image caption Michael’s mother has suggested that he might have been taken by child abductors

Michael has not been seen since.

Ms Vaughan told officers that she had since come to realise she might have made an awful mistake by putting Michael in her car.

“Unfortunately, in going through all of the evidence I have at this point, it is impossible for me to be 100% positive that I did the right thing and took Michael with me when I did,” she wrote.

“To be completely honest with you, I believe Danny may be responsible for Michael’s disappearance and I must wait for definitive evidence to prove my suspicions.”

Ms Vaughan said in the letter that she believed Michael had been abducted and was not with Danny Vaughan.

Image copyright Police Image caption Jessica Vaughan and Danny Vaughan have had a tumultuous relationship

She described the couple’s relationship as “volatile and volatile in the best way possible”, and suggested that they might be taking Michael in.

She said she believed that officers were correct in investigating her account.

“I want to know if you were 100% sure that I put Michael in my car. I want you to believe that when I make a claim like that, it is true,” she wrote.

“I can promise you this.”

The letter was made public by the Urging 4 Answers group that is campaigning to find Michael, who was last seen wearing red Capri pants and a red cardigan.

Officer Jerry Williams said officers “haven’t spoken to her too much” since his letter was released.

Image copyright Police Image caption The police are now asking the public to give them information about the relationship between Ms Vaughan and Danny Vaughan

He said they had in fact spoken to Ms Vaughan a few times since the search for Michael started in December.

“There were a couple of times in the investigation where we spoke to her where we have questioned her about the fact that she might have left him with someone else,” he said.

“We don’t have any solid evidence to support that she left him with someone else.”

Michael’s father is not believed to be a suspect in the case, as the police said they are “100% sure he has nothing to do with this”.

Pocatello Police Sergeant John Foley said they were now reaching out to members of the public to see if they had any information about where Michael might be.

An $8,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the safe return of Michael.

Mr Foley said the police are “not ruling anything out” when it comes to the case.

Sandra Childress, executive director of the Urging 4 Answers group, said the group did not believe the letter was Ms Vaughan’s “final word”, and that she was struggling to come to terms with his disappearance.

But she suggested that the police should “rule out any angle that Jessica doesn’t want the community to believe”.

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