In less than two weeks, what began with a report of a missing person turned into a horrifying tragedy that led law enforcement to conclude that the 20-month-old baby Quinton Simon was killed – and thrown in a landfill.
On October 5, Leilani Simon called the police at around 10am to report her son missing. She said her toddler was last seen by her mother’s boyfriend around 6 a.m., Chatham County Sheriff Jeff Hadley said law enforcement worked until 2 a.m. to gather information about the incident, then returned early the next morning at 8 a.m. to continue the investigation. This is a real effort. They searched through security footage, phone records, grandparents’ homes and even called in outdoor search specialists and diving teams to help try to locate the child. Sadly, just 5 days later, the whole investigation will change.
Related: College student killed ‘instantly’ by spinning plane propeller after lavish date
October 10 has turned around and Hadley confirmed through public statement that this is no longer a missing person case – now the PD is suspected of foul play, and FBI also in the search. Forty agents were present on the investigation when they began another search inside the home of his grandparents. The Chatham County Sheriff’s Department even get additional security for the property, including the pool behind the house. They have reason to believe this baby’s disappearance is an inside job.
Just two days later, on October 12, police officers and FBI agents revealed through Twitter the conclusion they came to amid searches – they believed Quinton was dead, and his mother Leilani was a prime suspect:
“We are saddened to report that the CCPD and the FBI have informed Quinton Simon’s family that we believe he has passed away. We have singled out his mother, Leilani Simon, as the prime suspect in his disappearance and death. But, no arrests have been made and no charges have been brought.”
We regret to inform that the CCPD and the FBI have informed Quinton Simon’s family that we believe he has passed away. We have singled out his mother, Leilani Simon, as the prime suspect in his disappearance and death. However, no arrests have been made and no charges have been brought.
– Chatham County Sheriff’s Department (@ChathamCountyPD) October 13, 2022
Basic earnings per share. And things only got worse when the CCPD revealed where they had searched for the boy’s remains: a landfill…
In a public conference posted to Watch on Facebook on Tuesday, Sheriff Hadley again chose to keep specific new evidence private – but said they directed officers to directly search this particular dump to find Simon’s body:
“A short while ago, we began an extensive search for the management waste landfill located here in Chatham County. After every step we took [in] In this case, the need for this evidence-based search has led us. “
In the Q&A at the end of the video, he also revealed how law enforcement believes the boy has arrived at this massive disposal area – his body was thrown into a trash can and accidentally removed. Sort with trash:
“[We believe Quinton] has been placed in a particular container at a particular location [outside the landfill] and it was brought [inside the landfill] by normal disposal. “
Watch the full press conference (below):
Enteritis. He was just a baby…
On Tuesday, Hadley mentioned that the CCPD was not “ready” to file any charges or arrest as the investigation was still ongoing. He expressed the group’s wish to bring the boy “justice” and “final resting place”.
Why is Leilani a suspect? We may not know what the police know, but we do have more information thanks to some local witnesses. One person said Sun that while dozens of law enforcement officers were rummaging through trash cans at a dump to find her baby’s body, this woman shot the scene at a nearby beach bar with her mother, Billy Jo Howell. One bar employee stated:
“They were here. She was at a table, but they were drinking. We had someone who worked here monitoring the incident and she noticed them. She said they were acting. Act normally and have a good time and enjoy yourself”.
“Have a nice time.” At a time like this. Everyone reacts to stress differently, but come on. Another witness flagged the same behavior, posted on Twitter:
“Mum and Grandma discovered 20 months old #QuintonSimon missing on #TybeeIsland at Stingrays restaurant around 7pm.”
Reporters and victim advocates who heard the news of the mother-daughter drinking and living comfortably appeared to have come to Tybee Island to confront them – leading to “two arguments” to which police were called on Wednesday. Apparently Howell complained that people were “harassing” her.
It’s worrisome. Obviously we still don’t know what happened – but we hope the authorities can bring some kind of justice to Quinton. You can rest in peace.
[Image via FBI/Chatham County Police Department]