Police charge mother in death of Georgia toddler after finding remains

Quinton Simon (Chatham County Police Department)

Police in Georgia have arrested the mother of 20-month-old Quinton Simon in connection with the boy’s death and disappearance after human remains were found in a nearby landfill.

The Chatham County Police Department announced the arrest of 22-year-old Leilani Simon on Monday. She was taken into custody and is charged with malice murder, concealing the death of a person, false report and making false statements.

“She doesn’t deserve a Thanksgiving, if I can go off the script a little bit, Quinton deserves it,” said Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley, who choked up a bit as he spoke.

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Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley said Simon is the only suspect and they don’t expect any additional arrests.

“On Friday, our search team at the waste management landfill found what they believe to be human remains. This afternoon, the FBI laboratory in Quantico, Virginia confirmed that they are, in fact, human remains,” Chief Hadley said during a press conference Monday afternoon. conference.

Leilani Simon

Leilani Simon (Chattaham County Sheriff’s Office)

The chief says further testing on the remains still needs to be done, including DNA testing. The FBI confirms that the remains are of a human child.

“We have every reason to believe that this will confirm that the remains are Quinton’s,” Chief Hadley said.

Leilani Simon first reported her son missing on October 5. Authorities say she called 911 and said Quinton disappeared from his playpen at their home just outside of Savannah. Police searched the house and neighborhood for a week before announcing they believed he was dead.

After that week, the police shifted their focus to the child’s mother. She was named as a suspect in his death and disappearance, while maintaining that she did not know what happened to him.

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The chief launched an investigation at a nearby landfill. He said investigators had “evidence” that prompted the search.

“As we’ve said from the beginning with the dump, we had every faith that Quinton was there at the dump,” the chief said. “After finding what we found on Friday and the preliminary findings from the FBI that we got today, we made an arrest today.”

For four weeks, police and FBI agents combed through piles of trash one by one, looking for signs of the child. People from all over the world attended this case.

“We feel like we have a very strong case, we’ve put thousands of hours into this, and we think this was the right move today to be able to do that,” the chief said.

On November 14, police updated the public that “the chances of finding Quinton’s remains are low,” but there was no clear end date for the search in sight.

Leilani Simon was booked into the Chatham County Detention Center, where she is being held without bond.

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