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Does the starter engage again when you go back to park ?
Shifting from park to drive would cut the circuit from the key switch to the starter. The neutral safety switch prevents you from cranking the engine in drive or reverse.
I would say the key switch is not turning off power to the starter when you go from start to run.
Powssible that there is always power to the inhibitor switch. It is the switch that only allows current to flow thru it when in park or neutral. Could be power is always present at the switch when it is in park or neutral. Check the ignition switch first and see if it is powering the start circuit all the time.
Try this quick fix solution.
Put vehicle in park or neutral, press the switch or turn the dial to 2H, put vehicle in reverse and reverse the vehicle aproximately 10m's or around 30ft.
Now drive vehicle forward, and this should unlock the 4wd mode.
If this doesn't work then your solenoid may need replacing.
the neutral switch is to prevent the starter from engaging if not in park or neutral - try just bumping the key switch without holding it - the key lock or ignition switch could be keeping power on starter or the starter solenoid could be keeping the starter engaged someone would have to be under the car listening or touching the starter to see this or measuring voltage on solenoid wire
I would recommend you take it to 3 different repair shops to get quotes on the cost of repairs. Sounds internal to me . Automatic transmissions are best left to the Pro's to fix , You need alot of tools and a very very very clean workshop for starters. Hope this helps , Sorry I couldn't offer a quick fix.