Looking for a 20 month old Georgia boy who was reported missing last week since his playpen turned into a criminal investigation as a 911 call revealed the boy’s mother had told authorities she believed he had been snatched from his home.
Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley confirmed Monday that authorities are investigating whether there was any criminality in Quinton Simon’s disappearance last Wednesday from his Savannah home.
“We haven’t confirmed anything, so we absolutely can’t say anything,” Hadley told reporters, Savannah Morning News reported. “But it’s fair to say that our efforts and cooperation with the FBI provide us with an abundance of resources, that we also look at the criminal investigation aspect.”
“We want to make sure that we do it in the most professional and expert way possible, so if – and I say if – we have to prosecute someone in this case, we did it right,” he said. he continued. WJCL reported.
More than 40 FBI agents are helping local police search for Simon, whose 22-year-old mother Leilani reported him missing three hours after last seeing him in her park at the Savannah home she shares with his parents.
On Monday, firefighters were called to the house to drain the family’s swimming pool, the outlet reported. It was not immediately clear if any clues had been found.
Meanwhile, Hadley said the 911 call made by Quinton’s mother would not be made public due to the ongoing investigation – but WJCL got the dispatch call, which sheds some light on what the police learned.
“The complainant advised that her one-year-old son was missing,” the dispatcher said, according to the outlet. “She woke up, her door was open. Warned that he is unable to open a door. I think someone came in and took him away.
Police have previously said they do not believe foul play was involved in the case.
Quinton’s babysitter told WSAV she was supposed to watch the toddler and his brother on the day he disappeared – but she received a cryptic message that alarmed her.
“I got a text this morning saying they wouldn’t be there – wouldn’t keep them at 5:29 [a.m.]. Which was a little weird because I have them even when she’s not working,” Diana McCarta told the outlet, referring to Leilani.
The boy lives in the house with his mother, his 3-year-old brother, his mother’s boyfriend and his maternal grandparents, local ABC affiliate WJCL reported.
His grandparents, Billie Jo and Thomas Howell, have legal custody of Quinton and his older brother, according to the station.
“She didn’t always do the right thing,” Billie Jo Howell said of her daughter in an interview with the station. “Sometimes she does really well, sometimes she doesn’t… I don’t know if I can trust her – I don’t.”
Court records obtained by WJCL show Billie Jo Howell attempted to evict the child’s mother and her boyfriend from her home in early September.