SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) – The Chatham County Police Department and FBI gave an update on Quinton Simon Thursday.
Quinton has been missing since Oct. 5. Police said Wednesday they believe Quinton is deceased and they have named his mother Leilani Simon as the prime suspect in his disappearance and death.
During Thursday’s news conference, Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley said police and FBI have come to the conclusion Quinton is dead through evidence gathered with search warrants and interviews they have conducted.
Chief Hadley also confirmed, at this time, Leilani Simon is the only suspect in Quinton’s disappearance and death. Leilani Simon has not been arrested or formally charged yet, according to the chief.
Chief Hadley says they believe she is not a flight risk. He says they will only get “one shot” to arrest and charge Leilani Simon, so they are working in council with the FBI and ADA, and using the resources at their disposal, to come to the right conclusion.
Police have not found Quinton’s body but CCPD and the FBI says they will search wherever evidence leads them.
“For the past week over 40 FBI agents, analysts, task force officers, and professional support staff who live in the Coastal Georgia area have worked tirelessly and continuously on this investigation. Last Wednesday we mobilized our child abduction rapid employment team, the CARD team for short, which brings with it experts from across the country,” said FBI Supervisor Senior Resident Agent Will Clarke.
Chief Hadley says CCPD and FBI agents will continue to investigate this case and find justice for Quinton’s loved ones.
People around the country are reacting to the news that Quinton Simon is believed to be dead… we’re even seeing people traveling to our area to express their grief.
The mood in the neighborhood today is absolute defeat. People around here are just heartbroken, knowing that Quinton Simon will not be returning home.
There have been some other people making their way down Buckhalter Street today, to pay their respects to little Quinton including one woman who’s moving from Hilton Head to Florida.
She said she’s delaying moving just so she can work through her grief, over this little boy she’s never even met.
“Just devastating. I’m in tears. I’ve been crying all day, since I heard about this, first thing this morning. I forget when I even heard it, because I was getting out of the hotel and I stopped overnight on my way, and it’s just devastating. I don’t even know how to explain it into words,” said Lorraine Reardon.
We’ve been in contact with Quinton Simon’s grandmother, who is absolutely devastated at the news.
She says right now, her family is just trying to do what they need to do to get through the day, and that she wants Quinton found.
Many of the thousands of people who have been waiting to hear what happened to 1-year-old Quinton Simon are heartbroken.
“It’s just a gut punch because even if you’re expecting it you’re hoping for something else,” said Megan Kelley, who lives in the area.
“It’s just really concerning because it goes to show you that there is evil everywhere and it can be just as close as not even five miles down the street where someone could have potentially killed their own child,” said Kelley
Some people can’t help but be so close to the case.
“You never wanna hear anything bad about a child missing or possibly hurt but definitely not in your neighborhood,” said Kimberly Adams, who lives in the area.
The last place Quinton Simon was said to be seen, his home, was noticeably quiet.
With the exception of people driving in and out who looked to be friends and family and one woman who brought a balloon and teddy bear in tribute to the baby.
Some people can’t help but think about Quinton’s siblings and their own kids who are about the same age as him.
“22 months old yeah…and as I was reading the mother was the suspect he was climbing on my lap and I was thinking children are so precious…it just breaks your heart. It doesn’t make sense.”
They are hoping if the mother was involved that she comes forward with the truth while investigators still don’t know where Quinton is, they’re giving their own a little extra love.
“Hug your babies…close.”
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