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Georgia toddler Quinton Simon presumed dead, mother named prime suspect

Quinton Simon, the 20-month-old Georgia boy who went missing one week ago, is presumed dead and his mother has been identified as the prime suspect in the case, police said Wednesday night.

“We are saddened to report that CCPD and the FBI have notified Quinton Simon’s family that we believe he is deceased,” the Chatham County Police Department announced.

The department named Leilani Simon, Quinton’s mother, as the prime suspect in the toddler’s disappearance and death. The 22-year-old reported Quinton missing last Wednesday at 9 a.m., three hours after he was last seen in his home.

A general view of the Savannah, Georgia home where Quinton’s mother, Leilani Simon, lives is shown.

Leilani shared the home with her boyfriend, Quinton, Quinton’s 3-year-old brother and Leilani’s parents, who have custody of the two toddlers.

Leilani has not been charged or arrested, police said.

Police did not disclose any further details Wednesday night.

The Chatham County Police Department broke the news just hours after they brought search dogs to the family’s Savannah home for “gathering and analyzing evidence.”

Police announced the search for Quinton turned into a criminal investigation on Tuesday.

Leilani told 911 that she believed someone took her son from the home sometime before 9 a.m. after she woke up to an open door.

At 5:30 a.m. that morning, however, she texted Quinton’s babysitter to cancel plans for the day.

In an interview with police, Leilani’s mother said she doesn’t know if she can trust her daughter.

“She hasn’t always done the right thing,” mother Billie Jo Howell said.

Quinton Simon's mother told police someone took the toddler from her home when she woke up to an open door.
Quinton Simon’s mother told police someone took the toddler from her home when she woke up to an open door.
Family Handout

Police will hold a press conference Thursday to provide further details.

“We know that thousands of people around the world will be heartbroken by this news, and we share your sorrow,” the county police said.

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