October 13, 2022
CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. – Quinton Simon, the 20-month-old Georgia boy who disappeared one week ago, is presumed dead. Moreover, his mother, Leilani Simon, has been identified as the prime suspect in the presumed homicide, law enforcement authorities said Wednesday night.
“We are saddened to report that CCPD and the FBI have notified Quinton Simon’s family that we believe he is deceased,” the Chatham County Police Department announced.
The department named the child’s mother as the prime suspect in the toddler’s disappearance and death. The 22-year-old reported Quinton missing last Wednesday at 9 a.m., three hours after he was last seen in his home.
However, at 5:30 a.m. that day she texted Quinton’s babysitter to cancel plans for the day.
Missing toddler Quinton Simon is now presumed dead, as police have named his mother, Leilani Simon, the prime suspect. (Family Handout)
The Chatham County Police Department broke the news just hours after it brought search dogs to the family’s Savannah home for “gathering and analyzing evidence.”
Police announced the search for Quinton turned into a criminal investigation on Tuesday, the New York Post reported.
Leilani told 911 that she believed someone took her son from the home sometime before 9 a.m. after she woke up to an open door. The child’s father reportedly last saw him at 6:00 a.m.
Authorities are planning a press conference for later in the day on Thursday.
“We know that thousands of people around the world will be heartbroken by this news, and we share your sorrow,” the county police said.
October 10, 2022
CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. – Law enforcement authorities are desperately searching for a toddler who went missing from his Georgia home five days ago.
Local police and the FBI are among those urgently trying to find the 20-month-old boy, Quinton Simon, who was reported missing by his mother Wednesday morning. She last saw him in his playpen at the Savannah home she shares with her parents about 6 a.m., the New York Post reported.
Since the search was launched, officers have been working 18-hour shifts in their effort to locate the boy. After scouring the area, including a nearby pond, they’ve come up empty-handed thus far.
“I hope he’s still alive,” Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley said about little Quinton at a Thursday press conference. “We don’t have any information to believe he’s not, but statistically we know how these cases may end up.”
Police have found no evidence to suggest foul play was involved after the toddler vanished, Hadley added at the time.
“We’re going to hold out hope that he’s still alive, that we can find him and bring him home safe to his parents,” he said.
However, officials have not completely ruled out that the toddler could have been kidnapped and the FBI is aiding the search due to it being a potential abduction.
Law enforcement authorities have deployed drones, helicopters, K-9 teams, mounted personnel, and heat-detecting technology in the search for the little boy.
Quinton lives in a home with his 22-year-old mother, his 3-year-old brother, his mother’s boyfriend and his maternal grandparents, WJCL reported.
According to the local news outlet, his grandparents, Billie Jo and Thomas Howell, have legal custody of Quinton and his older brother.
“She hasn’t always done the right thing,” Billie Jo Howell said of her daughter Leilani, Quinton’s mom in an interview with the station. “Sometimes she does really great, sometimes she doesn’t… I don’t know if I can trust her — I don’t.”
The grandmother fought back tears as she said she just wanted her grandson home.
“I just know I’m hurting and I want this baby home,” she said. “He’s my baby.”
Court records show that Billie Jo Howell tried to evict the child’s mother and her boyfriend from her residence in early September, according to WJCL.
“They have damaged my property and at this point no one is living in peace,” she said in the court filing.
A tipline was established for information regarding the case: 912-667-3134.