The search for Quinton Simon: Georgia police deploy K9s at missing toddler's home to find more evidence
SAVANNAH, GEORGIA: Twenty-month-old Quinton Simon who went missing from his home in Savannah, Chatham County is now believed to be dead, according to Chatham County Police Department. Police said in their statement that they named the toddler's mother, Leilani Simon, as the prime suspect in his disappearance and likely death. However, no arrests have been made and no charges have been filed. The statement came after Georgia police announced on Wednesday, October 12 that the investigators would go back to the residence with search K9s to gather additional evidence regarding his whereabouts, Fox News reported.
On October 5, the child went missing from his home in Savannah, Chatham County, a seaside city on the border of Georgia and South Carolina. Quinton was last seen around 6 am at a residence in the 500 block of Buckhalter Road. Despite previous reports that the toddler had wandered off, the child's 22-year-old mother informed authorities that her son was last seen playing in a playpen.
The toddler's search has become a serious criminal investigation with more than 40 FBI agents assisting the police department with the case involving numerous interviews, searches, and canvasses of various locations. Chatham County police stated on Facebook, "Today marks one week since Quinton Simon was reported missing. We will be at his home where he was last seen with a team of search dogs and investigators. We will spend today gathering and analyzing evidence. We expect to schedule a media briefing tomorrow."
On Tuesday, October 11, Chatham County updated on Facebook and wrote, "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."
After some time, the police department posted a heartbreaking update that reads, "We are saddened to report that CCPD and the FBI have notified Quinton Simon’s family that we believe he is deceased. "The post continued, "Chief Hadley will hold a media briefing tomorrow (time TBD) to give more details and answer questions." They said they will not be making any further statements, or answering any questions until that time and said, "We know that thousands of people around the world will be heartbroken by this news, and we share your sorrow."
Detectives were working 18-20 hour days, according to Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley. He claimed that they had searched several areas outside. Meanwhile, police received a search warrant for the pool, according to public information officer Betsy Nolan. A manhunt was also launched to find the disappeared toddler.
Quinton who police say is likely dead, lived with his mother, her boyfriend, siblings, and grandparent. His grandparents, Thomas and Billie Jo Howell, told WSAV-TV that they are the legal guardians of Quinton and his three-year-old brother. Billie Jo told the news station, "He's just a baby. I want him home...he's just a baby."
Soon the Chatham County police shared the sad news about Quinton, people on social media were shocked and expressed concern for the child. They also appreciated the consistent efforts of the department in the missing toddler's case. One person commented, "Great job CCPD, FBI, detectives, all K9 handlers and K9 officers. Thank you for securing a bulletproof investigation." Another person wrote, "So devastated. Chatham County Police Department are doing everything in their power for this precious Angel." "This is so heartbreaking. Prayers for this sweet soul, all that loved him and to all the law enforcement working so hard to find this little boy. May he rest in peace," penned another.