An update in the case of missing toddler Quinton Simon was announced by police Wednesday night.
The Chatham County Police Department and the FBI announced that both agencies believe the 20-month-old man is dead and have notified his family.
Quinton’s mother, Leilani Simon, has been named as the prime suspect in his death, but no arrests have been made and no charges have been brought.
“We know that thousands of people around the world will be heartbroken by this news and we share your sadness,” the police department said in a tweet.
videos on social media showed Simon locking her face and ignoring reporters’ questions as she sped away from the house where her son was last seen.
Police were engaged in a frantic search for little Quinton, who mysteriously disappeared from his home in Savannah, Georgia on October 5.
The somber discovery comes days after Chatham County Police said they had “seized evidence” they believed would help them “advance the case.”
It came 24 hours after investigators were spotted “draining” the pool at the family’s Savannah home on Oct. 10.
“We returned today and re-searched the house he was last in,” Chatman Police Chief Jeff Hadley said.
However, at the time of the announcement, police did not disclose what evidence was seized.
Over 40 FBI agents helped locate Quinton at his home, a pond, drainage posts, dumpsters, and nearby woods.
Diana McCarta, who has been babysitting little Quinton and his brother for the past six months, revealed she received a strange message from the boy’s mother, Lelani, on the day the toddler went missing.
“I’ve been keeping Quinton and Zane for six months. I kept them yesterday and they went home last night [October 4]’ McCarta told WSAV.
“I got a text message this morning [October 5] say they wouldn’t be here if they weren’t babysitting at 5:29 [am]which was kind of weird because I have her even when she’s not working.”
Quinton was last seen around 6am Wednesday, McCarta says other family members asked her where Quinton could be.
“And then I get a text at 9 a.m. saying if I’ve seen Quinton,” McCarta recalled of the outlet.
“I’ll go straight to your house. I’m trying to help them find it, but they wouldn’t. So I just waited like everyone else.
“My heart is broken. I’m not his mother. I’m not his family. But I love him very much and I just don’t know what could happen,” McCarta said.
Court documents obtained by WJCL show the family was at odds prior to Quinton’s disappearance.
Records show that Billie Jo Howell, Quinton’s grandmother, wanted Lelani and her boyfriend Daniel Youngkin removed from their home.
The newspapers allege that the couple “damaged” Billie Jo’s property and that Lelani has allegedly stolen from the family in the past.
“She hasn’t always done the right thing,” Billie Jo said of her daughter.
“Sometimes she’s really great at it, sometimes she’s not. I don’t know what to think at the moment. I don’t know what to believe because I don’t think anyone ever believes this will happen to them.
“I don’t know if I can trust her or not. All I know is that it hurts me and I want this baby home. He’s my baby.”
Billie Jo admitted she was “hurt” after Quinton’s disappearance and stressed she just wants him to come home.
Quinton’s grandfather said the child’s mother had lied to the family before: “I don’t know. That’s just bad to say, but she just loves to lie,” he told WSAV.
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https://www.the-sun.com/news/6419334/quinton-simon-update-missing-mother-savannah-georigia/ Major Quinton Simon update on missing toddler ‘believed dead, mother Leilani named Simon as prime suspect’