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'She was going to be flight risk': Quinton Simon's grandmom hands over Leilani to FBI after rehab release

'Her mom (Billie Jo Howell) had to make one of the hardest decisions of her life, and call the FBI agents,' said a family friend after
UPDATED NOV 24, 2022
Billie Jo Howell (R) handed her daughter Leilani Simon (L) to the FBI on the same day Quinton Simon's (C) body was found (Facebook/Billie Jo Howell and WSAV screengrab)
Billie Jo Howell (R) handed her daughter Leilani Simon (L) to the FBI on the same day Quinton Simon's (C) body was found (Facebook/Billie Jo Howell and WSAV screengrab)

SAVANNAH, GEORGIA: Leilani Simon, the woman accused of killing her son Quinton Simon and who is presently in jail, reportedly checked herself into a treatment facility before she was arrested. Just a few weeks after the death of her child, 22-year-old Leilani booked herself into a treatment facility, according to a family friend who prefers not to disclose their identity. Leilani’s mother, Billie Jo Howell, was prompted to take action and call the FBI when she learned Leilani voluntarily checked herself out of the facility on Monday, November 22.

According to the acquaintance, Howell decided to get in touch with the police once Leilani chose to leave treatment. “Her mother had to make one of the hardest decisions of her life, and call the FBI agents and let them know that she was signing herself out, and that she could not come back here, and that she was going to be a flight risk, because she could not come back here because she was going to be back on the streets doing God knows what with God knows who,” the friend said to CrimeOnline. Leilani claimed she last saw 1-year-old Quinton at roughly 6 am on October 5 when she filed a missing person report. As previously reported, she is accused of putting Quinton in a dumpster after he died. The boy's body was discovered on November 22 by authorities in a landfill in Georgia. A nearby lab is attempting to positively identify Quinton's body even though the cause of death has not yet been established. 


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Quinton Simon (Facebook/Chatham County Police Department)
Quinton Simon was found in a landfill on November 22 (Facebook/Chatham County Police Department)

Howell picked Leilani up from the rehabilitation facility and spent a number of hours with her before bringing her to the Savannah FBI Office, the friend said, adding that this was on the instructions of the FBI. “They asked her to buy some time. So, she went and picked up Leilani’s belongings from another center, and then she took Leilani to have her last free meal,” the friend added.

Police revealed last month that they thought Quinton's body would be discovered at a landfill outside of Savannah after weeks of searching and investigating his mother was the only person they were looking at as a suspect. “We believe he was placed in a specific dumpster at a specific location,” Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley previously said. “I have every belief that we will find his remains here at the landfill.”

Law enforcement officers have been searching the garbage ever since and they finally discovered his remains on Monday, November 22. At first, the police believed they wouldn't be able to locate Quinton. “We knew going into this landfill search, the odds of recovering Quinton’s remains were low,” police said earlier this month. “Most landfill searches do not end in a recovery due to many factors including volume of trash to search and compression of the debris, however, we stay focused.”

In addition to being charged with murder, Leilani is also accused of lying, hiding another person's death and filing a fake police report. She is still being held without bond. “We want justice served for this precious baby, no matter what it is, no matter who it is,” the friend told CrimeOnline. “At the end of the day, all the protesters and the family all wanted the same thing.”