Police: Quinton Simon presumed dead; body not found


(NewsNation) — Quinton Simon, the 20-month-old who went missing from his grandmother’s Savannah, Georgia, home last week is presumed dead, police announced in a Thursday press conference.

“Our investigation over the last eight days has led us to the heartbreaking conclusion that 20-month-old Quinton Simon is deceased,” Chatham County Police Department Chief Jeff Hadley said.

Officials announced Wednesday night that they believed Quinton was dead and named his mother, Leilani Simon, as the prime suspect.

During the weeklong investigation, Chatham County police and the FBI also sent a team of search dogs into the home of Simon’s grandmother, Billie Jo Howell. Leilani Simon also lived in the home along with her boyfriend.

Though Leilani Simon was named the “primary suspect” in Quinton’s death, police had “not made any arrest or filed any charges,” as of Thursday afternoon.

“We will only do that (charge Leilani Simon) when we feel we have everything that we need to,” Hadley said.

Hadley added that while he does not know where Leilani Simon is at the moment, his department does not believe her to be a flight risk.

Quinton was reported missing on Oct. 5, but the investigation into his disappearance was upgraded to a criminal investigation on Monday.

Though officials believe Quinton to be dead, Hadley said officials have yet to find the toddler’s body.

“From the moment we received a 911 call reporting Quinton missing, we have conducted an exhaustive search for him. Sadly, we still have not found Quinton. But our search and our investigation will continue, and it will continue with every available resource we have in order to give Quinton’s family closure and see that justice is served in this case,” Hadley said.

When pressed for details, Hadley said he could not disclose more information for fear of jeopardizing the integrity of the ongoing investigation.

No other people were being considered for criminal charges as of Thursday afternoon.

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