Suspect in abduction of 5-year-old Idaho boy believed to be in North Dakota

Michael Vaughan Missing
Michael Vaughan Missing(Fruitland PD)
Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 3:48 PM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Police in a small, southwestern Idaho town believe a man involved in the disappearance of a young boy is on the run and is in North Dakota.

5-year-old Michael Vaughan was last seen outside near his Fruitland, Idaho home on July 27, 2021. Police believe the boy was likely abducted.

In a Facebook post Thursday, Idaho investigators say they believe there are four individuals involved in the abduction of Michael Vaughan. Two of the individuals are already in custody; Sarah and Stacey Wondra. However, police say 30-year-old Brandon Shurtliff is currently believed to be in North Dakota and is needed for questioning. 32-year-old Adrien Lucienne is also wanted for questioning and is believed to be in Toledo, Ohio. Fruitland Police say they believe both Shurtliff and Lucienne have first-hand knowledge of Michael’s abduction.

It’s unclear where exactly in North Dakota Shurtliff is believed to be.

Fruitland Police ‘strongly encourage’ Shurtliff and Lucienne to contact detectives at (208) 452-3000 as the window of time for talking is closing, a statement says.

35-year-old Sarah Wondra is being held in jail for failing to report a death to law enforcement. 30-year-old Stacey Wondra, 30, is being held on unrelated charges.

“The Wondras live at 1102 Redwing St. in Fruitland and were living there at the time of Michael’s disappearance. We believe that Sarah and Stacey have first-hand knowledge of Michael’s abduction,” Fruitland Police said Thursday.

During the course of the investigation, police state they received credible information the remains of Michael Vaughan could be found in Wondra’s backyard. On Nov. 12, investigators say they began a ‘methodical excavation’ of the back yard of Wondra’s home.

During that excavation process, Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue and Mountain States Detection Dogs deployed multiple Certified Human Remains Detection K9′s on the property, all alerting to the presence of human remains. Ground penetrating radar was also deployed, detecting anomalies in the yard. However, police did not find Michael’s remains.

“Investigators strongly believe that, based on the evidence, Michael was abducted and is deceased, and that his remains were buried and later moved from the property. As of today, the whereabouts of his remains are unknown. However, the investigation is active, fluid and ongoing,” Fruitland Police stated.

To date, the Fruitland Police Department has received over 1,500 tips and leads.

Tips on the case, as well as Shurtliff and Lucienne’s whereabouts can be sent to the Fruitland Police Department (208) 452-3110. Tipsters may remain anonymous, findmichael@fruitland.org or to Crime Stoppers, 343COPS.com.