COLTON, SD -
As they walked out on to their porch, you could tell it was a big relief for Laura Jean Pulscher to have her little boy close by her side.
On September 5, her son, Malcolm, was missing and the search for him captured the state's attention.
"The first night was bad. I had a lot of adrenaline in me. But now I'm sleeping well and we're outside some, but I'm keeping closer tabs on him," Laura Jean said.
Keeping the noticeably energetic toddler close by is no easy feat by any means. Malcolm was running around everywhere; sometimes throwing a ball, playing with cats or playing with sticks.
Playing in the yard was what he was doing a week ago. Laura Jean was scraping paint off her house and then took a little break to play her guitar.
"That was probably when he decided to go for a stroll. I was probably only looking down for a minute or two," Laura Jean said.
Minutes turned to hours. More than 40 law enforcement officers, men on horseback and friends and family searched the heavily covered grounds. After multiple searches of the house and buildings on the property, rescue teams headed into the woods, sloughs and miles of cornfields surrounding the farm.
It was an intense search, using all of the people, planes and four-wheelers on hand. Despite losing daylight, Laura Jean never lost faith.
"I had a lot of people praying and I felt pretty peaceful overall," Laura Jean said.
After four long hours, her prayers were answered; Malcolm was back in her arms.
"I held him. I was just happy to have him," Laura Jean said a week ago.
That gratitude will not fade any time soon.
"Thank you for spending time in a cornfield looking for my son," Laura Jean said.
Life is back to normal for this family. Like any little boy, Malcolm does not seem to be showing any shred of fear toward his surroundings. After experiencing every mother's worst fear, she will not let Malcolm out of her sight, but she is not keeping him too close.
"He's a little boy. He needs to be outside collecting sticks. [It's] part of his education," Pulscher said.
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