Quinton Simon: Missing 20-month-old toddler's grandmother tried to evict his mom and her boyfriend
CHATHAM COUNTY, GEORGIA: In an update in the case of missing toddler Quinton Simon, court documents revealed that his grandmother, Billie Jo Howell, and her husband Thomas have legal custody of both him and his three-year-old brother. It has also come to light that Howell had earlier sought to evict her daughter and her boyfriend who lived in their house.
Simon, who is just 20 months old, was reported missing from his Buckhalter Road home sometime after 9.30 am on Wednesday, October 5. His mother, Lenali Simon, informed police that she last saw her son around 6 pm. Meanwhile, Chatham County Police Department stated that "finding Quinton Simon is [their] highest priority, and the intensity of [their] work is as strong as it has been since the day of his disappearance."
Court documents obtained by WJCL revealed that Howell wrote that her daughter, Lenali and her boyfriend Daniel Youngkin, had damaged her property. "At this point no one is living in peace," she said. In September, there had been strife at home as Howell tried to evict Lenali and Youngkin, wanting them gone "as soon as possible." Speaking to the outlet, the grief-stricken grandmother said that she no longer trusted her daughter.
"She hasn't always done the right thing," said Howell, speaking of her daughter, Lenali, while acknowledging, "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. I don't know if I can trust her or I don't." Howell emphasized that she was "hurting" after her grandson's disappearance and all she wants is him to be found. "I want this baby home. He's my baby," she added.
Howell earlier told WTOC that she has been out of town, working a temporary job at the time of little Simon's disappearance. Her husband, Thomas had stayed back, but it was the two children's babysitter, Diana McCarter, who informed her of the shocking news. McCarter revealed that she was asked to take the day off. She told WSAV, "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," adding, "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."
According to Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley, investigative officers have been doing 18-hour shifts to try and find the child. "There’s a very sequential process that takes place here," he said. "It may be frustrating to the general public, it may be frustrating to y’all that things aren’t developing as quickly as you may like. But we’ve got to make sure that we’re doing the right thing, that we’re being lawful, making sure we dot our Is and cross our Ts, so that if we discover evidence, it can be admissible in court and we can use it in court if we have to."