The search for Quinton Simon: Babysitter found it 'odd' when asked to take off on day of disappearance

The search for Quinton Simon: Babysitter found it 'odd' when asked to take off on day of disappearance
Diana McCarta has been taking care of Quinton Simon and his little brother for around six months (Chatham County Police Department/Facebook and WSAV3/Youtube screenshot)

SAVANNAH, GEORGIA: The babysitter of a missing Georgia toddler is devastated and confused over the child's sudden disappearance. Quinton Simon, who is only 20 months old, was reported missing from his Buckhalter Road home in Savannah on Wednesday morning, October 5, at approximately 9 am. Diana McCarta, who identified herself as the babysitter, said in an interview with WSAV that she had been taking care of Simon and his little brother for around six months. She claimed that she took care of the children and looked after them daily even when their mother was not working. 

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McCarta said that she was supposed to babysit Simon on the day of his disappearance but the family contacted her and informed her that she was not needed for the day. Although she found it strange initially to find out about a rapid change in the plan at the last moment, she later found out the toddler had been reported missing. “I got a text this morning saying they would not be here, would not be babysitting them at 5:29 [a.m.] Which was kind of odd because I have them even when she doesn’t work,” McCarta told WSAV. “And then I get a text at 9 a.m. saying have I seen Quinton? I immediately go to their house. I try to help them look, they didn’t want that. So, I’ve been just waiting around like everyone else.” 

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Quinton was last seen wearing a light blue Sesame Street shirt and black pants, according to Chatham County Police Department. Investigators have not issued an AMBER Alert because they’ve not determined the boy was abducted, but they said that possibility has not been ruled out. “This is a fluid situation. All things are still possible. We don’t have one concrete theory,” Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley said. 

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Volunteers and neighbors have joined the search for the toddler, which has involved mounted officers, K-9 units, drones and helicopters. Some roads in the western part of the county were shut down by search teams, not far from Hunter Army Air Field and just outside the Savannah city limits. The ground search was shut down at nightfall, and helicopters equipped with thermal imaging systems that can detect body heat were sent up. The FBI is also assisting in the search. 

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The Chatham County Police Department said it had responded to the home twice in the past but neither call was related to a missing child. The police department also ruled out the possibility of the child's disappearance to be a case related to any custody dispute and said that all parties are cooperating in the investigation. Police told WSAV that the boy’s father has been ruled out because he was confirmed to be far away from the home at the time Quinton disappeared. 

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Neighbors told the station they’ve seen the toddler wandering around outside his home and in the street in the past. “He was running back and forth in front of the house and I was afraid he was gon’ get hit,” one neighbor said. Police obtained a search warrant for the family’s home, as part of the investigation. A cash reward is being offered for information leading to the boy's safe return. 

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Anyone with tips about his disappearance can visit the Chatham County Police Department's website. Information can also be left with the Savannah-Chatham County Crime Stoppers at (912) 234-2020.

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