Missing Georgia Toddler Believed Dead, Mom a Suspect

Police in Georgia think a toddler who was reported missing by his mother last week is dead, and the boy’s mother has been named as a suspect in the case. The Chatham County Police Department announced in a tweet late on Wednesday that it had informed Quinton Simon’s family that it believed he had passed away. His mother, Leilani Simon, is our top suspect in both his death and disappearance.

No arrests have been made and no charges have been filed, the tweet said. It wasn’t immediately known Thursday if Leilani Simon had a lawyer who could speak on her behalf. Simon told officers on Oct. 5 that her 20-month-old son had been in his playpen before she discovered he was missing, Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley said then. Police fanned out across a neighborhood just outside Savannah to search for the toddler, described as last seen wearing a Sesame Street T-shirt and black pants.

“We’re very concerned about Quinton,” Hadley told reporters at the time. “We’re hoping we can find him safe and bring him home to his parents.”

The boy’s biological father had been contacted by authorities, according to the police chief, and they didn’t think he was involved. The boy’s residence was also briefly searched by police, but they were unable to find him there, the officer continued. According to Hadley, no Amber Alert was issued for the missing boy because that would have required authorities to first establish the kidnapping theory. Hadley intended to discuss the matter in a news conference on Thursday.