(NewsNation) — Police have made an arrest in the case of an Idaho toddler who vanished last year.
The Fruitland Police Department announced Sarah Wondra, 35, was taken into custody Friday in connection with the case. Police said they had received a tip that the body of Michael Vaughan, 5 years old when he went missing, could be found in the backyard of Wondra’s home. She was arrested on suspicion of failing to report his death.
On Saturday, police began an excavation of the backyard. As of Tuesday, the search of the property was still ongoing, Fruitland police said.
Vaughan was last seen July 27, 2021, when he walked out of the house and down the street.
Brandi Neal, Vaughn’s mother, says her son was looking for older neighborhood kids to play with.
“He went to a neighbor’s house, went to another neighbor’s house and another neighbor’s house,” Neal said.
With Neal working at the time and her husband inside checking on the toddler and ordering dinner, neither parent knew their son had wondered off.
“We are encouraged and remain hopeful that our investigation will lead us to the truth,” Fruitland Police Chief JD Huff said.
The police department said it has received more than 1,500 tips in the case and encouraged the public to report any information they believe could be helpful.