SAVANNAH, Ga. (HPD) — A boy who was reported missing in Georgia last week by his mother is believed dead, according to police, who added the mother is a suspect in the death. of the minor.
The Chatham County Police Department tweeted Wednesday night that “we are saddened to report that the department and the FBI have notified the family of Quinton Simons that we believe he is deceased. We have named his mother, Leilani Simon, as the prime suspect in this disappearance and death.”
No arrests have been made and no charges have been filed so far, police said. Leilani Simon’s attorney could not be reached.
The police chief planned to discuss the case during a news conference on Thursday afternoon.
Simon called police Oct. 5 to report that her 20-month-old son had been in his playpen before discovering he was missing. Police searched for the infant in the family’s suburban Savannah neighborhood. The last time he was seen, the little boy was wearing a Sesame Street t-shirt and black pants.
Within a week, police obtained a search warrant and raided the family’s home with the help of the FBI. Investigators drained a pool in the yard and used dogs to search nearby woods.
Police reports and court documents show that there have been problems in recent weeks between the boy’s mother and his grandmother, Billie Jo Howell, who had legal custody of him and an older brother. Quinton, his mother and his mother’s boyfriend lived with Howell.
Simon called police on Sept. 7 after an altercation with her mother over laundry in which she said Howell had pushed her against a wall, according to a police report. No charges were filed and an officer found no injuries other than Simon’s reddened elbow.
The next day, Quinton’s grandmother filed papers in Chatham County Magistrate’s Court to have Simon and her boyfriend evicted from their home, WTOC television reported.
“I just want them to move out as quickly as possible… They have damaged my property and right now no one lives in peace,” reads the Sept. 8 legal document.
A few weeks later, on September 28, a superior court judge ordered Leilani Simon to pay $150 a month in child support.
A week later, Quinton’s mother reported him missing.