Missing South Dakota toddler found after search in Plankinton cornfieldPLANKINTON — The search for a 2-year-old Plankinton boy whose disappearance attracted nearly 200 volunteer searchers to a cornfield near the town ended with a happy ending this morning.
By: Austin Kaus, The Daily Republic
PLANKINTON — The search for a 2-year-old Plankinton boy whose disappearance attracted nearly 200 volunteer searchers to a cornfield near the town ended with a happy ending this morning.
Taydon Faulhaber was found in a cornfield near Plankinton at approximately 7 a.m. after responding to the sound of his mother Ashley’s voice from a loudspeaker.
Faulhaber disappeared into the cornfield Sunday evening after he and an adult male stopped by the side of the road for a break during a drive Sunday night. The boy ran into a cornfield and was not seen again until his discovery this morning.
An army of emergency officials and volunteers and two dogs searched for the boy throughout the evening in the 340 acre field.
After his discovery, the boy was taken to the Mitchell hospital and released later in the morning, according to a representative from Avera Queen of Peace.
A call to a telephone listing for Ashley Faulhaber was not immediately answered today.
Cameron Boyd, Plankinton, was one of the volunteers walking rows of corn this morning when Ashley Faulhaber started calling for Taydon using a loudspeaker.
“Within a minute, I could hear him scream,” Boyd said. “I kept hollering at him so I could hear him. He was just standing there.”
Boyd said the boy was wet from dew but appeared otherwise unharmed.
“I picked him up and carried him out. He didn’t really say anything,” Boyd said. “He just wanted his mom.”
Aurora County Emergency Manager David Baker said the boy was “crying his head off” when he was reunited with his mother.
Aurora County Sheriff David Fink estimated the rows of corn were only about 20 inches apart with stalks between eight and 10 feet tall.
“It’s very thick corn,” Fink said. “It’s a big cornfield.”
Officials believe the boy became exhausted after disappearing Sunday night and fell asleep and did not hear people calling for him as they searched.
Baker said the searchers wanted to find the boy before daylight because of the extreme heat in the forecast. The National Weather Service said high temperatures around the 100-degree mark are expected today.
“We were trying every effort we could before it got hot,” Baker said.
Helen Boyd is an ambulance driver from Plankinton who helped with the search. She said the threats of heat and wild animals made the disappearance a frightening one.
“It’s scary because I have grandkids,” Boyd said. “That stuff is like 3 feet above my head and planted crooked in parts.”
She said volunteers came from many area counties and Hutterite colonies.
“What’s amazing is how many people showed up to help who had no clue who he was,” Boyd said.
Cameron Boyd said he doesn't personally know Taydon, but said his own position as a parent brought emotional investment in the search.
“I’ve got kids of my own. I know how scared they’d be out there and how scared his mom was,” Cameron said. “I was just glad to get him back.”
- The Associated Press contributed to this report.