Chatham mom was trying to stay calm and 'just breathe' while her toddler was lost in cornfield

Approximately 75 people joined the search for Lauren Bultje's two-year-old son Theo, who wandered away from home Tuesday and was lost in a nearby cornfield for more than an hour. 

Police, family and friends spent 90 minutes searching and an uncle found the boy

Theo McDonald, 2, was found a little more than an hour after he went missing in a nearby cornfield. (Submitted by Lauren Bultje)

A Chatham mother says she's overwhelmed by the show of community support after approximately 75 people showed up to search for her missing two-year-old son Tuesday, when he wandered away from home and got lost in a 10-hectare cornfield. 

Theo McDonald was found unharmed in the cornfield by her uncle, Lauren Bultje told CBC News, just before 5 p.m., but in the hour and a half it took to find the toddler Bultje said she "was trying to stay calm and just trying to breathe." 

"It was getting dark, I was worried, so I made a Facebook post and people just shared it and so many people showed up," including a number of people she had never met, Bultje said.

"I was overwhelmed I can't believe how much support we had," she said. 

Bultje said she called police around 3:45 p.m. Tuesday after Theo wandered off. The cornfield is familiar territory for the Bultje family. Just last week they were taking family photos there, she said.

"I first just kind of yelled and looked up and down the rows to see if I could see him anywhere," she said, but when he wasn't anywhere in sight, she ran back into the house to get her mother and brother to help her search. 

Search by dog and drone

Chatham-Kent police responded to the home on Pioneer Line and sent out officers, a dog and a drone to assist the search. 

The moment Theo was found, Bultje said she was inside with police filing a report. 

"We kind of just dropped everything and I ran outside, it's kind of fuzzy ... I saw him and just started bawling," she recalls. 

"He was just fine when [my uncle] found him, not crying nothing, he was just walking and the only time he started crying was when my uncle picked him up." 

In a news release, police commended the community's teamwork to help find the boy. 

"Most importantly, the boy was found safe and in good health, which is the outcome that we were all hoping for," Inspector Mike Domony said in a news release. "The search for this missing boy, is a great example of how a community comes together."


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