Cops in Savannah, Georgia, believe they’ve found partial remain of missing toddler Quinton Simon, at a local landfill site,
Leilani Simon, 22, was arrested on Monday, by the Chatham County Police Dept. in the death of her 20-month-old son, Quintin Simon
She’s has been charged with malice, murder, concealing the death of another person, false reporting and making false statements in connection with the disappearance and death of her son
Simon reported 20-month-old Quinton missing from their Savannah, Georgia home on October 5
Police suspect Quinton’s body was placed in a dumpster and investigators have been searching for his body in a nearby landfill for a month
Although his body has never been found, bones have been recovered from the landfill with DNA analysis now taking place to establish their identity
Leilani Simon made news after she took a vacation with her mother and both were seen downing shots at a bar while cops searched for her missing toddler
The mother of a Georgia toddler who has been missing for a month has been charged with his murder after human remains, believed to be those of the little boy, were found in a local landfill site.
Leilani Simon, 22, of Savannah, was arrested and charged on Monday in the death of 20-month-old Quinton Simon, by the Chatham County Police Department. She was transported to the Chatham County Detention Center where she will await a bond hearing. Police say they do not anticipate making any other arrests in connection with the case.
Simon has been charged with malice, murder, concealing the death of another person, false reporting and making false statements in connection with the disappearance and death of her son.
During a press conference on Monday night Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley said police confirmed they had found human remains on Friday with DNA analysis currently being conducted – after a month-long search.
‘Our search teams at the waste management landfill found what they believed were human remains this afternoon. The FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia confirmed that they are in fact human remains and additional testing including DNA analysis is being conducted and we have every reason to believe that this will confirm the remains are Quentin’s.
Chief Hadley became visibly emotional during the 15 minutes press conference as he described the findings as a ‘heartbreaking development’.
He said: ‘This is a heartbreaking development for everyone who loved Quinton for the many people who came to know him after his disappearance and for our department when we first received the call that Quinton was missing, we were hopeful that we would find him alive and unharmed.
‘But as we have been telling you for weeks all of our evidence pointed to his mother being responsible for his death and disappearance and his remains being found in the landfill.’
The Chatham County Police Chief told how the search of Little Neck Landfill, which is still continuing, began one month ago with the partial remains of a human child eventually being found.
‘We had every belief that Quinton was at the landfill,’ Hadley said during a question and answer session with journalists.
The bones have been sent to a lab with additional testing now underway to confirm the remains are indeed Quinton’s. Police say they have a ‘high level of confidence’ that they are those of the youngsters with a final result likely within days.
‘What happened to this 20-month-old child is unthinkable,’ said Will Clarke, senior supervisory resident agent in charge of the FBI’s Savannah and Brunswick offices.
‘No child should be harmed by anyone, let alone the person in their lives that should be their protector. This investigation does not end here. There is more work to do. The FBI along with our law enforcement partners will continue to find justice for Quentin. This investigation does not end here, there is more work to do.’
‘We had every belief he would be in the landfill. We have put thousands of hours into this,’ Hadley explained becoming visibility emotional as he spoke about how proud he was of his team and the work they’ve done to get to this point.
‘She [Leilani] has been the sole suspect since the beginning. We feel that we have a very strong case. She [Leilani] doesn’t deserve a Thanksgiving, frankly. Quinton deserves that.’
Hadley thanked those who had worked alongside his force including The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Chatham County Sheriff’s office and Department of Natural Resources.
‘I want to thank the FBI. We are incredibly grateful for their invaluable assistance, their expertise, their manpower, resources and guidance are unmatched and were crucial in our efforts to find Quentin. They were on the scene within three hours of Quentin being reported missing and have assisted with every aspect of this investigation. The resources they poured into the landfill search are extraordinary and are the reason that we were able to find Quentin.
‘I would like to thank the many people who showed their support for our department during this incredibly difficult and important investigation. We appreciate those who kept faith in the system and waited patiently for evidence. We needed to make sure Quinton has every opportunity to receive the justice he deserves.’
‘We were 100% committed to bringing justice for Quinton and to appreciate the amount of human effort, the amount of human emotion that goes into a case like this and to appreciate hopefully that this comes to a conclusion in terms of a conviction and things of that nature.
‘You know you have a lot of emotions as a human being who has children. You see the impact that that has on people. So if you step back and take a moment to to kind of absorb that, I think that if you didn’t have any feelings about that, you might have to ask yourself a few questions.’
With tears in his eyes Chief Hadley asked to make one last statement as he paid tribute to journalists reporting on the case. ‘I want to thank all of you guys in the local media.’
‘You guys have been amazing. You’ve been fair, you’ve been direct, you’ve asked good questions and you’ve given us some deference when we needed some deference. And so I just wanted to say thank you for your work that you do every day.’
Simon reported 20-month-old Quinton missing from their Savannah, Georgia home on October 5. His body has not been found, but police have ruled that he was murdered.
‘We are deeply saddened by this case, but we are thankful that we are one step closer to justice for little Quinton,’ police said in its statement on Monday afternoon.
According to police, Leilani’s boyfriend, Danny Youngkin, was the last one to see him around 6am on the day he vanished – but it wasn’t until after 9am that his mother reported him missing.
Police suspect Quinton’s body was placed in a dumpster and investigators had searched for his body in a nearby landfill.
Leilani was the prime suspect in the disappearance and presumed death of the 20-month-old. Child Protective Services also removed her two other children from her custody on October 12.
Two weeks after Quinton’s disappearance, Leilani and her mother, Billie Jo Jowell, were at Sting Ray’s, a beach bar in the nearby vacation town of Tybee Island, drowning their sorrows. A photo of Leilani inside the bar was obtained by WSAV.
It’s been revealed that the pair spent around three hours at the bar, sitting outside in a large group, downing Patron shots and pestering their server to drink with them.
After details of Leilani’s outing at the bar emerged, the local police department tweeted a photo of their landfill search for Quinton.
Leilani Simon had lost custody of Quinton and his brother, and had just been ordered by the state to start paying child support when Quinton vanished.
A week beforehand, she was told she’d need to cough up $150-a-month for the boys. If one of them died, that bill would be reduced by $50.
On October 5, Quinton’s mother Leilani claims she woke up at 9.30am and found the door of the house open. Quinton, she said, was nowhere to be found.
His stepfather, Daniel Youngkin, told police he last saw the boy at 6am that morning. The family quickly fell under suspicion.
Quinton’s babysitter immediately voiced her concern over his disappearance.
She said she thought it was strange that hours before he was reported missing, she was told not to come to work that day to look after him.
Quinton’s babysitters said they worried for him when he showed up ‘dirty’, ‘without diapers’ and sometimes with bruises.
While the bereaved mother’s nonchalant behavior since his death is disturbing, it has been revealed that his actual custodian, grandmother Billie Jo Jowel, has a long rap sheet that includes prior arrests for prostitution, cocaine possession and assault.
When Quinton first disappeared, Jowell told local reporters that her daughter – who she’d previously evicted – ‘didn’t always do the right thing.’
When Quinton’s worried babysitter spoke out about her concerns for the boy, Billie Jo confronted her angrily.
She stormed into her house and demanded that she stop speaking publicly about their family.
Last month Jowell shared her theory on the case and much more in a bombshell conversation with the child’s biological father, Henry ‘Bubba’ Moss.
In an audio of an 11-minute phone call, Jowell could be heard saying: ‘I feel, honestly and frankly, Bubba, I’m not going to lie to you, I feel like there was an accident.’
‘I feel like something happened while Quinton was in the bathtub, and he drowned, and they were both high. That’s my theory.’
‘Hell, they should have just called the police if something like that happened,’ Bubba replied.
‘If you’re high as hell, man, you do stupid sh*t,’ said Howell.
Jowell also said police have shared their own suspicion that Leilani, ‘blacked out’ that morning.
‘The police are the ones saying that [Leilani],went into a traumatic state and blacked out,’ she told Bubba in the call.
‘It’s not her saying she don’t remember. That’s what police told her. And that’s what they told me.’
At one point Simon protested that she had become a prisoner in her own home after it was announced that she could possibly be involved in her son’s disappearance.
In a teary interview with a local news station Simon complained that she has had to barricade herself in her yard to hide from protesters, some even leaving signs like ‘Baby Killer’ on a memorial she set up outside for her son.
‘I’m here, I’ve been here every day since this. I’m not running and I’m not hiding,’ she said.
‘And if something does come up that I am at fault, I will take myself to the police station.’
She went on to slam protesters who have been gathering outside her home, saying: ‘It makes it hard to even process what’s going [on] around us.’
‘I can’t even walk out and appreciate my own son’s memorial or put down gifts that I got for him,’ she continued.
In a head scratching effort to deflect attention, Simon tried to pin her son’s disappearance on his biological father claiming her ex-lover snatched the toddler from her Savannah home in the darkness of night.
It prompted police to track down and confront Quinton’s long-absent father shortly after she reported him missing on October 5.
Quintin’s biological father 24-year-old Henry ‘Bubba’ Moss, who lives 85 miles from Savannah revealed that he was visited by cops after his ex to frame him for the disappearance of their little son.
‘Leilani’s tried to blame it on me,’ the shaggy-haired 24-year-old revealed.
He said he was mowing his boss’s lawn when police pulled up.
‘They asked did I have him and when was the last time I was in Savannah?’ he recalled.
‘They told me Leilani said I came and got him overnight.’
Bubba, who lives in Girard, Georgia, a rural town of 250 people, told police that he hadn’t been anywhere near Savannah.
Bubba vowed he told police the truth – that he was home when Quinton disappeared. He said he presented alibis and that there was also CCTV footage from the next-door gas station that proved he didn’t leave his home overnight.
At that time, it was just a missing person’s case.
‘I told police – she’s gonna hurt that baby,’ he recalled.
‘I said I didn’t know what was going on. Hell, I haven’t heard from her in six to seven months.
‘She’s a terrible person and she’s going to jail, or hell. She’s evil. She shouldn’t be here out in society.’
‘If she didn’t want him, she could have told me,’ he added. ‘I would have come and got him.’