Quinton Simon disappearance: Mom Leilani Simon spotted for the first time after being named as 'prime suspect’
SAVANNAH, GEORGIA: Missing Georgia boy Quinton Simon's mother Leilani Simon was spotted first time Wednesday, October 12 nearly a week after the 20-month-old's disappearance. Despite the police's extensive scavenging hunt to bring the toddler back home, they have come to the conclusion that the toddler could be dead and will be treating the case as an active criminal investigation.
The Chatham County Police Department and the FBI announced that they believe missing Quinton Simon is dead and have reportedly notified the family of the toddler. Quinton's mother, Leilani Simon has been named as the prime suspect in his mysterious death. But, no arrests have been made and no charges have been filed. The 22-year-old mother was spotted leaving her family’s Savannah house on Wednesday afternoon for the first time after her son's disappearance and returning shortly thereafter.
#BREAKING Quinton Simon’s mom blocked her face, ignored questions, took off, leaving the house where Quinton was last seen. It’s the first time we’ve seen Leilani Simon since Quinton went missing last week. @WSAV @NewsNation pic.twitter.com/gAVM5gdzvW— Brett Buffington (@BrettWSAV) October 12, 2022
On Tuesday, October 11, the police announced, "We've seized evidence that we believe will help move this case forward & we're now working to analyze the evidence to see where it leads us. We continue to pursue all avenues to bring Quinton home, following all leads and evidence." The news came 24 hours after investigators were spotted draining the pool at the family's Savannah home. On Wednesday police made another announcement, saying they would be returning to the residence with a team that includes search K9s, and shortly after the Chatham County Police Department arrived in the neighborhood and could be seen focusing their efforts in part on a wooded section behind the family’s and neighbors’ homes.
According to officials, more than 40 FBI agents and employees in Georgia were helping with the hunt for the toddler Quinton Simon, after his mother Leilani Simon, told authorities that she believed he was snatched from their home on Buckhalter Road in Savannah on October 5. It is reported that there were issues going on within the baby's family, between his grandmother and his mother, Leilani. Simon's grandmother, Billie Jo Howell, has legal custody over him. Records show Howell wanted to remove Leilani, and her boyfriend, Daniel Youngkin, from her home, reported WJCL. Police suspect whether the dispute among the family has anything to do with the toddler's disappearance.
Billie Jo Howell said of Leilani, "She hasn't always done the right thing." "Sometimes she does really great, sometimes she doesn't. I don't know what to think right now. I don't know what to believe, because I don't think anybody ever believes this is going to happen to them," she said. "I don't know if I can trust her or I don't. I just know I'm hurting and I want this baby home. He's my baby." Quinton’s grandfather, Thomas Howell, reportedly added that the child’s mother had lied to the family before, "I don’t know. That’s just bad to say, but she just likes to lie."