Quinton Simon‘s mother Leilani Simon has officially been charged with his disappearance and murder. On Monday afternoon, the Chatham County Police Department in Georgia announced via Twitter:
“The Chatham County Police Department has arrested 22-year-old Leilani Simon and charged her with murder in connection with the disappearance and death of her son, 20-month-old Quinton Simon. Leilani Simon was taken into custody a short time ago, and is being transported to the Chatham County Detention Center where she will be held while she awaits a bond hearing. We do not anticipate any other arrests in connection with this case.”
Acknowledging the viral nature of the mysterious case, they continued:
“Leilani Simon reported her son missing from their home on October 5, 2022. Since that time, millions of people have followed Quinton’s case and have been awaiting answers. We will be releasing more details soon, and Chief Hadley will meet with news media. However, we wanted to report this development to you without delay. We are deeply saddened by this case, but we are thankful that we are one step closer to justice for little Quinton.”
This is a MAJOR step in the ongoing case! It’s so gut-wrenching to think the child’s own mother could have had a hand in his disappearance and death… but at this point seems obvious to everyone following.
This isn’t the only development in the case either. Just before Leilani’s arrest, authorities announced the search for the 20-month-old’s body has been paused due to Thanksgiving. Sadly it’s been so long at this point they may never find him…
Related: Quinton’s Grandfather Mysteriously Killed As Police Continue Search
As we’ve been covering closely, Quinton was reported missing from his home in Savannah, Georgia last month. Authorities believe he is deceased, as they previously found evidene convincing them his body was dumped in a specific dumpster, which led them to a specific landfill, where they began a tedious search for his remains. But now, due to the approaching holiday, the CCPD announced the search for the toddler’s body has been paused for the week. Speaking to The US Sun on Monday, the department explained:
“The landfill search is being paused this week so that the searchers and support teams — many who have come in from around the country — can take a necessary break after a month of intensive work.”
The pause coincides with Waste Management’s schedule for the week, which has also been adjusted for the holiday, according to the police. So tough to see the search hit pause, but it’s definitely interesting timing now that the only suspect has finally been charged.
As we’ve reported, Leilani has been the cops’ only suspect for a while now. While she was the one who initially reported the toddler missing, she was spotted partying with her mother, Billie Jo Howell, amid the search for her son. Which is certainly unusual behavior in light of this tragedy. Not only that, her own mother and her ex, Quinton’s father Henry “Bubba” Moss both suggested she was lying to authorities. Thus far we imagine the only thing keeping them from an arrest was they were hoping to find a body first. The murder charge suggests they may be resigned to the possibility they’ll never find him.
In Georgia, the penalty for a murder conviction is either life in prison or the death penalty. Will they be able to get a conviction without a body? We’ll keep you updated as the police release more information on Leilani’s arrest. In the meantime, we’ll be thinking of Quinton and the rest of his loved ones as they grieve this immense loss and process this upsetting development.
[Image via Chatham County Police Department/Twitter & Chatham County Detention Center & WSAV3/YouTube]