The mom of missing toddler Quinton Simon appeared in court Monday for a hearing about the custody and safety of her children, preceding a live conference by Chatham County police, who say Quinton is deceased and in a landfill.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Quinton’s mother, Leilani Simon, reported him missing on October 5; she said her current boyfriend saw the child at about 6 a.m. in the family’s Savannah home.
Later, when Simon woke up, Quinton was gone, according to what she told a 911 dispatcher. She made the 911 call shortly after 9:30 a.m., telling the dispatcher she found the door open, although Quinton isn’t able to open the door by himself.
“Thinks someone came in and took him,” the dispatcher told responding officers.
Police launched an extensive search of the area, calling in help from other nearby jurisdictions as well as the FBI. As of October 18, Quinton remains missing but police said that the child is likely dead.
Leilani Simon has been named the primary suspect in the child’s disappearance and presumed death, but so far, no charges have been filed against her in the case.
Simon’s mother, Billie Howell, was previously granted guardianship of Simon’s three children. Court documents indicate that Simon lost custody due to “unrehabilitated drug use.”
Simon “is a chronic, unrehabilitated substance abuser of cocaine and cannabis,” Chatham County court documents read.
Simon allegedly admitted that she used cocaine. She also reportedly tested positive for cocaine use during the birth of one of her three children. Subsequently, Howell was given custody of Simon’s children, including Quinton, his 3-year-old brother, and a 6-month-old.
Court documents obtained by The U.S. Sun indicated that on October 12, guardianship was taken from Howell, with the documents stating she “failed to provide adequate supervision” after she left Quinton and his brother in Simon’s care. It was during this time that Quinton disappeared.
Documents added that Howell “knew or should have known (Leilani Simon) was unfit to provide proper care, while the maternal grandmother traveled out of state.”
Meanwhile, Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley said Tuesday morning that police believe Quinton is deceased and in a nearby landfill. Police named Leilani Simon the primary suspect in Quinton’s disappearance and presumed death.
“We believe he was placed in a specific dumpster at a specific location,” Chief Hadley said. “I have every belief that we will find his remains here at the landfill.”
“We want justice for Quinton just like everybody else. And we want to find his remains, so we can give him a proper resting place.”
When local media asked Hadley why Simon has not yet been arrested, he said they are still investigating and need to make sure nothing jeopardizes the case.
“We still have work to do,” Hadley said, adding that Simon is not considered a flight risk. “We still have an investigation to do.”
To Report Information on Quinton Simon
- Call 911 or submit a tip to the Chatham County Police Department’s Crime Tip at https://police.chathamcountyga.gov/Tips.
- Submit a tip through the CrimeStoppers online tip portal at https://www.p3tips.com/tipform.aspx?ID=757.
- A dedicated tipline has been established for the case at 912-667-3134.
Check back for updates.
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[Featured image: Facebook- Leilani Simon/Chatham County police – Quinton Simon]