UPDATE: 8 A.M. Friday: According to a Chatham County incident report, last month, Quinton’s uncle told Chatham County police that the boy’s mother had a history of stealing from the family and then using the money to buy drugs. He told police it was a problem that “goes back very far.”
UPDATE: 10 P.M. Thursday
CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WSAV) — Thursday night, there is no active search that WSAV is aware of but investigators are still working to find Quinton Simon.
Earlier, more than 75 officers, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), joined the search near his home in West Chatham County.
The family said Simon’s mother and her boyfriend were released after hours of questioning by police.
Chatham County Police cannot comment on who may have been interviewed but said they are still treating this as a missing child case and instead of a broad search are now focusing their efforts on targeted areas.
For all of yesterday and most of Thursday, the whereabouts of Quinton’s mother and boyfriend have been in question. Neighbors witnessed the mother and her boyfriend at their house all throughout the day.
Neighbors claim the two finished being interrogated by law enforcement very early Thursday morning. Later this morning neighbors say the grandparents came by, now with Quinton missing for nearly 48 hours, tensions were running high in the family,
That’s when things started to get heated. Neighbors say they heard several arguments throughout the day in their backyard — even to the point where members were threatening each other.
WSAV was on the scene a little after 6 p.m. and heard another scuffle breakout from across the street.
Chatham County Police is asking residents to turn on their Twitter notifications which is where the department is posting the latest updates.
Neighbors and family members are hoping for answers as it’s closing in on hour 48 of Quinton’s disappearance.
UPDATE: 6 P.M. Thursday
CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WSAV) — WSAV has learned that the mother of missing 20-month-old Quinton Simon was being evicted from the home where the boy went missing.
Simon was last seen at his home in West Chatham county Wednesday morning at 6.
The WSAV Investigative Unit has uncovered court documents that show Quinton’s mom, Leilani Simon was being evicted from the home where the toddler went missing.
The search for the little boy has spanned 32 hours. On Wednesday officers from surrounding law enforcement agencies used horses, dogs and even drones to scour the area but found nothing. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents have also gotten involved in the case.
That eviction notice was filed just under a month ago. The home where Quinton went missing is owned by his grandparents and just days after an argument at the home, Quinton’s mom and her boyfriend were told to leave.
New documents uncovered by the WSAV Investigative Unit tell the story of a mother, arguing with a daughter. That Chatham County incident report — one of two found for this home — says the argument was over laundry.
Maybe the biggest piece of information in it is that Quinton’s mother, Leilani Simon told police in September that she didn’t want trouble because she was on probation.
Just days later, Billie Howell, Quinton’s grandmother, filed for an eviction. In that notice, she said that her daughter, her daughter’s boyfriend and three kids were living in her home.
She said they damaged her property and ”no one is living in peace.” Quinton’s grandparents told WSAV they just want Leilani to tell the police the truth.
“Cause she’s lied to us so many times,” Thomas Howell, Quinton’s grandfather said. “And, I don’t know, it’s bad to say but she just likes to lie.”
Thursday, federal agents went through dumpsters and searched the woods and along the freeway in the neighborhood.
The moments since Quinton went missing, for his grandparents, have been hell.
“I’m dying and I need everybody to help. Anybody that knows anything. He’s just a baby,” Billie said while holding back tears.
WSAV was there Thursday when investigators searched another property, owned by Quinton’s family. The little boy’s grandpa told WSAV that he cut the locks off himself so the police could get in.
His grandparents just want to see their grandson again.
“He hugs me. He wants me to pick him up and play with him,” Billie said.
So far, there has been nothing investigators have found to lead them any closer to answering where Quinton is.
WSAV learned from the Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley Thursday, that investigators pulled phone records, possibly the phones of Quinton’s mom and her boyfriend, who their family said is still being held by Chatham County Police.
UPDATE: 12:30 P.M. Thursday
CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WSAV) — New photos have been obtained of missing 20-month-old toddler Quinton Simon. It’s been over 24 hours since Quinton was reported missing.
UPDATE: 11 P.M. Wednesday
CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WSAV) — More than 75 police officers and volunteers participated in a ground search that has been called off for a missing toddler. However, investigators are still looking from above.
At nightfall, authorities launched a helicopter with a thermal-imaging camera to continue the search for 20-month-old Quinton Simon. WSAV has also learned a dive team arrived near the scene.
Also, since 6 p.m., WSAV crews have witnessed dogs searching the property on Buckhalter Road, near Garrard Avenue.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents and an evidence response team are collecting evidence inside the home where 20-month-old Quinton Simon was last seen.
WSAV was on the scene when federal agents along with investigators from the Chatham County Police Department went through the garbage at that home and saw the flashing from the photographs being taken inside.
Wednesday night, behind the crime scene tape, federal agents and investigators were looking for anything that could lead them to Quinton who hasn’t been seen for at least 16 hours.
“It’s been rough, it’s been real rough,” said Thomas Howell, Quinton’s grandfather, making his stepdaughter the little boy’s mom. “He’s a great kid. Smart. Always, smiling,” Howell said. “I mean, he lights your life up.”
This has been a nightmare, for him. Howell was out of town when he got the news and his wife is still driving in from out of state. The house, surrounded by crime scene tape, is owned by Howell and his wife.
“My stepdaughter, her boyfriend, three kids and her brother,” Howell said were inside the home when Quinton went missing.
Howell says the theory that Quinton simply wandered off is puzzling.
“I’ve never seen him open a door,” Howell said. “The oldest one has opened the door and came out but he’s never opened a door. So, I mean that’s what’s crazy about everything.”
Howell said his step-daughter claims that Quinton’s father came and picked the little boy up, something police have ruled out and Howell admits doesn’t add up.
WSAV has learned that Quinton’s mom and others in the house Wednesday morning are at the CCPD headquarters being questioned.
Howell told WSAV that his family is so thankful for the people who came out to help search Wednesday.
The original story is below.
CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WSAV) — The Chatham County Police Department (CCPD) along with neighbors are searching for a missing 20-month-old boy.
Police say Quinton Simon was last seen at his home in the western part of Chatham County on Buckhalter Road around 6 a.m. Wednesday. He was reported missing hours later at 9 a.m.
He was last seen wearing a light blue Sesame Street shirt and black pants.
Police are currently on the ground near Buckhalter Road and Garrard Avenue searching for the child, according to CCPD. Bloodhounds have also been called in from Liberty County to the scene to help look for the toddler along with a helicopter and drone.
Police have shut down Garrard Avenue between Chatham Parkway and Louis B Mills as they continue to search for Simon. Buckhalter Road is closed between the overpass and Garrard Avenue.
The Atlanta office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it has sent agents and personnel to the scene to assist in the search.
Neighbors told WSAV that they’ve seen Quinton out wandering around the home and the street in the past. The search for Quinton is news neighbors say they’ve found shocking.
“It’s a kid that’s probably scared,” said neighbor Casey Bowers.
Bowers is not the only one with that feeling that they had to do something. Her friend Michelle Miller and Bowers are both mothers.
“I mean I would be devastated, I would want everyone to help me as well. If it was my child, I’d want everyone and anybody that’s willing to help come out and look,” Miller said.
It’s why they showed up on a four-wheeler to help look but so far, there has been no sign of Quinton.
The Chatham Police Chief Jeffery Hadley said the search is emotional, adding that his investigators will find out what happened.
“Not only does it certainly affect the immediate family, but the neighbors who maybe had contact with them, I think they’re, you know, they probably seen the kids played with them or said hi to them,” Hadley said. “You know, the officers that are out here searching, the residents that are out here searching, everybody has an emotional investment in these types of cases. And it takes its own toll on people.”
WSAV learned that Quinton, at just 20 months old has wandered off before.
“He was running back and forth in front of the house and I was afraid he was gon’ get hit,” the neighbor said.
That neighbor didn’t want to show her face on camera and she cried recounting the story Wednesday.
“The police officer came up and asked if she could look in my backyard,” the neighbor said. Her home is just one of the many places police have searched.
Police told WSAV that Quinton’s father has been ruled out as a suspect because he was nowhere near the home when the toddler went missing, according to the Chatham County Police Chief.
The Chief also said the search for Quinton will continue until nightfall and pick back up tomorrow morning.
No amber alert was issued because Hadley said police haven’t declared that Quinton was abducted, but they also can’t rule that or many other outcomes out.
Police say if you see him, to call 911 with information.