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Fruitland Police name new people of interest in the disappearance of Michael Vaughan

Michael Vaughan
Fruitland Police Department

Fruitland Police have named two new people of interest in the disappearance of Michael Vaughan back in July 2021.

At a news conference on Thursday, Fruitland Police Chief J.D. Huff said officials believed the 5-year-old was abducted and buried at the home of Sarah and Stacey Wondra, located a few blocks from Michael's house.

“We strongly believe, based on evidence, that Michael was abducted and is deceased and that his remains were buried and later moved from the property,” Huff said.

The Wondra’s backyard was excavated in November but no remains were found.

"During that excavation process, the Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue mountain states detection dogs deployed multiple certified human remains detection dogs on the property," Huff said."All of them alerting to the presence of human remains."

The investigation is ongoing, Huff said, and a crew will use a ground penetrating radar to search the neighbor’s yard.

Sarah Wondra was arrested on November 12 on charges of failing to report a death but was considered unfit to attend court proceedings and committed to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. Her husband, Stacey, has been in the custody of Washington County Jail since May on unrelated charges.

The police chief also said two additional people were believed to have knowledge of Vaughan’s death. Adrien Lucienne and Brandon Shurtliff were both staying with the Wondras at the time of his disappearance.

“I strongly encourage Shurtliff and Lucienne to contact the Fruitland Police Department detectives as the window of time for talking and cooperation is coming to a close,” Huff added.

Police say the two men are believed to be out of state. Lucienne is believed to be in Toledo, Ohio but goes between California and Ohio. Shurtliff is currently believed to be in North Dakota, according to police.

The audio recording of the press conference comes courtesy of KIVI-TV.

As the Canyon County reporter, I cover the Latina/o/x communities and agricultural hub of the Treasure Valley. I’m super invested in local journalism and social equity, and very grateful to be working in Idaho.