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Woman Arrested In Connection With Boy's Disappearance After Posting TikTok Videos With His Missing Person Flyer In Background

Police have alleged that Sarah Wondra knew about the death of 5-year-old Michael Joseph Vaughan--who disappeared from his Idaho home last year--but failed to report it. 

By Jill Sederstrom
Killer Motive: What Drives People To Kill?

An Idaho woman—who made a series of TikTok videos with a young boy’s missing person’s flyer on her refrigerator—has now been charged in connection with his disappearance.

Sarah Wondra, 35, is facing charges of failure to report a death in the 2021 disappearance of 5-year-old Michael Joseph Vaughan, who lived just several blocks from her home, according to KTVB.

“Our investigation determined Sarah Wondra may have had knowledge of Michael’s death and failed to report it,” Fruitland Police Chief J.D. Huff said of the arrest. “We do not believe she is the only person that has knowledge of this and we will be seeking out those people who could possibly be connected.”

Huff said authorities have been searching Wondra’s home and backyard since Friday after receiving a “credible lead” that drew them to the area.

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In a strange twist, before her arrest, Wondra had produced several TikTok videos that showed her speaking to the camera while Vaughn’s missing persons flyer hangs in the background, Fox News reports.

In one of the videos, she shares a song about God that she said she wrote during an earlier stint in prison. Her religious beliefs appear to be the focus of many of her TikToks.

Michael Vaughan

Vaughan, who also went by the nickname “Monkey,” disappeared on July 27, 2021.

He was last seen around 6:30 p.m. that evening near his house on SW 9th Street, according to a previous statement by Huff about the case.

Wondra’s home, which she shared with husband Stacey Wondra, is only blocks away from where the young boy had lived, according to KIVI-TV.

When police arrived at the family’s home Friday night with a search warrant, authorities said Sarah Wondra said she “definitely did not kill that boy,” but also asserted that the “most high God already told me who did,” according to a copy of the search warrant obtained by the Idaho Statesman.

She went on to allegedly tell authorities that God had told her that “Stacey was the one who killed him” and that the body was buried in the yard of a neighbor’s home.

Police began to dig in the area after they received information “from Stacey,” however, as of Monday afternoon Stacey Wondra had not been arrested in connection with the disappearance, according to the local paper.

Sarah Wondra had a virtual arraignment on Monday, where prosecutors initially asked for a $1 million bond.

They argued that she posed a danger to the public and noted that she was already on pre-trial release in connection with a felony charge for illegally possessing a firearm as a felon, KIVI-TV reports.

“She is a danger to the community and she fails to abide by the social norms we all expect,” prosecutors said in court. “And there are obviously very serious implications in her being aware of his whereabouts this whole time.” 

Sarah Wondra also weighed in on the allegations against her, telling the judge that while she knows “what they’ve said. It’s not correct.”

After hearing the arguments, a judge set her bond at $500,000. If she is able to post bond, she’ll be required to wear a GPS monitor and must stay within the state.

The judge also agreed to seal the investigative reports and affidavits in the case as the investigation into Vaughan’s disappearance continues.

A spokesperson for the young boy’s family told the local paper they are asking for privacy as the case progresses.

“They are dealing with very difficult news that’s ongoing and unfolding,” Lana Westbrook said.