CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WSAV) — The search for a missing Chatham County toddler has become a recovery mission. Investigators say they are now looking for little Quinton Simon’s body.
The Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley told WSAV they now have evidence that the child is dead. Investigators tell us the child’s mother is the one and only suspect in the case.
WSAV has an exclusive video of Leilani Simon at the home Wednesday. It was the first time she was seen in public since Quinton disappeared.
Quinton’s grandmother told WSAV, Billie Jo Howell, her daughter doesn’t remember anything from the morning Quinton went missing. When Howell talked on the phone, she was in tears. Thursday night, police tell me Leilani Simon is their one and only suspect.
Police haven’t told us the evidence that’s made them believe Quinton has died but they tell us they have it. Quinton is still the center of an intense search.
“Sadly, we still have not found Quinton,” Hadley said.
Leilani is the only suspect, according to police. Leilani called 9-1-1 the morning Quinton went missing and told police that she thought someone took her child.
“Leilani’s story doesn’t add up,” Howell said.
From the start, Quinton’s grandparents didn’t believe that story. His grandmother told WSAV’s Investigative Unit that her daughter doesn’t remember anything from the morning Quinton went missing.
Her and her husband Thomas are both in shock that Quinton isn’t just missing.
“We know that millions of people fell in love with Quinton Simon the moment they saw his face and learned of his disappearance,” Hadley said.
The family tells us that the federal agents and local investigators, in this case, believe Quinton’s body may be in a landfill. Chatham County’s Police Chief said he wouldn’t talk about something that specific, but both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and his department would tell WSAV when and where this heartbreaking search goes next.
On Thursday, WSAV was outside the home where Quinton went missing and watched as people came and left this home.
While Leilani is now the center of a criminal investigation, there are so many other people in this family — and neighborhood — who are coping with the loss of a little boy.
With a tiny teddy bear and a balloon, a vigil has started outside the home where Quinton Simon was last seen. A Savannah mother told WSAV she had to do something to let the people who loved the little boy know that she cared.
“This was lead on my heart. I have five grandchildren and this right here really, this touched my heart when I heard the news that it’s a possibility of him being deceased,” the mother told WSAV.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information is reported.