Police believe missing Georgia toddler is dead, name boy's mother primary suspect

Chatham County Police Department/Facebook

(SAVANNAH, Ga.) -- Police in Savannah, Georgia, say they believe the toddler who mysteriously vanished one week ago is dead, and they've named the boy's mother as the primary suspect.

"We are saddened to report that CCPD and the FBI have notified Quinton Simon's family that we believe he is deceased. We have named his mother, Leilani Simon, as the prime suspect in his disappearance and death," the Chatham County Police Department tweeted Wednesday night, adding that "no arrests have been made and no charges have been filed."

A media briefing is expected sometime Thursday, police said.

"We know that thousands of people around the world will be heartbroken by this news, and we share your sorrow," the department added.

Police on Wednesday brought search dogs to the family's home, and the department said it would spend Wednesday "gathering and analyzing evidence" in connection to the disappearance of the 20-month-old Quinton Simon, who has been missing since Oct. 5.

Police said Tuesday that officers "seized evidence" they think will "move this case forward."

Quinton was last seen at his Savannah home around 6 a.m. on Oct. 5 by his mother's boyfriend, the chief said. After Quinton's mother woke up, she reported him missing around 9:40 a.m., he said.

Police said last week that the case didn't appear to involve a custody dispute.

Hadley added Monday that police have had contact with Quinton's biological father and said he's not a suspect.

Chatham County police requested FBI assistance the day Quinton was reported missing and authorities are continuing "aggressive efforts to find him," Chatham County police chief Jeff Hadley said at a news conference Monday. Over 40 FBI agents are now on the ground in Savannah, he said.

Authorities have "conducted multiple interviews, executed multiple search warrants and we've canvassed numerous specific geographic areas," Hadley said Monday.

Hadley stressed that he's committed to finding answers and finding Quinton.

Thursday, October 13, 2022 at 7:15AM by Emily Shapiro, ABC News Permalink