The mother of missing toddler Quinton Simon has been charged with his murder.
Leilani Simon, 22, was arrested and charged on Monday, Chatham County Police Department said in a statement. Police said they do not anticipate making any other arrests.
Simon reported 20-month-old Quinton missing from their Savannah, Georgia home on October 5. His body has not been found, but police have ruled that he was murdered.
‘We are deeply saddened by this case, but we are thankful that we are one step closer to justice for little Quinton,’ police said in its statement.
According to police, Leilani’s boyfriend, Danny Youngkin, was the last one to see him around 6am on the day he vanished – but it wasn’t until after 9am that his mother reported him missing.
This is a developing story
Leilani Simon, 22, was charged on Monday, Chatham County Police Department said in a statement. She is pictured in a 2021 mugshot after an arrest for theft in North Carolina
Twenty-month-old Quinton Simon has been missing since October
Quinton Simon is pictured with his parents
Leilani Simon spoke to local TV station WTOC on October 24 to complain about protestors outside her home
Police suspect Quinton’s body was placed in a dumpster and investigators had searched for his body in a nearby landfill.
Leilani was the prime suspect in the disappearance and presumed death of the 20-month-old. Child Protective Services also removed her two other children from her custody on October 12.
Two weeks after Quinton’s disappearance, Leilani and her mother, Billie Jo Jowell, were at Sting Ray’s, a beach bar in the nearby vacation town of Tybee Island, drowning their sorrows. A photo of Leilani inside the bar was obtained by WSAV.
DailyMail.com revealed that the pair spent around three hours at the bar, sitting outside in a large group, downing Patron shots and pestering their server to drink with them.
After details of Leilani’s outing at the bar emerged, the local police department tweeted a photo of their landfill search for Quinton.
While Leilani and her mother were seen, agents were searching this landfill for any signs of little Quinton’s remains
The Chatham County Police Department shared photos of the team sorting through tons of garbage as they search for little Quinton
Quinton’s mother had lost custody of him and his brother, and had just been ordered by the state to start paying child support when Quinton vanished.
A week beforehand, she was told she’d need to cough up $150-a-month for the boys. If one of them died, that bill would be reduced by $50.
On October 5th, Quinton’s mother claims she woke up at 9.30am and found the door of the house open.
Quinton, she said, was nowhere to be found.
His stepfather, Daniel Youngkin, told police he last saw the boy at 6am that morning. The family quickly fell under suspicion.
Quinton’s babysitter immediately voiced her concern over his disappearance.
She said she thought it was strange that hours before he was reported missing, she was told not to come to work that day to look after him.
Quinton’s grandmother, Billie Jo, 45, had legal custody of the little boy
Quinton’s babysitters said they worried for him when he showed up ‘dirty’, ‘without diapers’ and sometimes with bruises
Her nonchalant behavior since his death has eerie hallmarks of Casey Anthony, who was spotted dancing in a bar four days after her daughter Caylee vanished in 2005.
Casey was found not guilty in 2011 – a decision that shocked and outraged America.
Grandmother Billie Jo Howell, 45, has a long rap sheet that includes prior arrests for prostitution, cocaine possession and assault.
When Quinton first disappeared, she told local reporters that her daughter – who she’d previously evicted – ‘didn’t always do the right thing.’
When Quinton’s worried babysitter spoke out about her concerns for the boy, Billie Jo confronted her angrily.
She stormed into her house and demanded that she stop speaking publicly about their family.
Quinton’s grandmother, Billie Jo, 45, thinks the missing toddler accidentally drowned in a bathtub because her daughter and boyfriend were out of it on drugs
Last month Billie Jo shared her theory on the case and much more in a bombshell conversation with the child’s biological father, Henry ‘Bubba’ Moss.
In an audio of an 11-minute phone call obtained by DailyMail.com, Billie Jo could be heard saying: ‘I feel, honestly and frankly, Bubba, I’m not going to lie to you, I feel like there was an accident.’
‘I feel like something happened while Quinton was in the bathtub, and he drowned, and they were both high. That’s my theory.’
‘Hell, they should have just called the police if something like that happened,’ Bubba replied.
‘If you’re high as hell, man, you do stupid sh*t,’ said Billie Jo.
Billie Jo said police, meanwhile, have shared their own suspicion – that Leilani, the boy’s mother, ‘blacked out’ that morning.
‘The police are the ones saying that she went into a traumatic state and blacked out,’ she told Bubba in the call.
‘It’s not her saying she don’t remember. That’s what police told her. And that’s what they told me.’
Simon, 22, had claimed she has had to barricade herself inside of her Savannah, Georgia home as protesters gather outside at all hours of the day
Leilani and her mother, Billie Jo Howell, put up security cameras and floodlights around the home. A protester is seen here carrying a sign calling them ‘Baby killers’
Leilani has also moved Quinton’s memorial from the street to keep unwanted attention from it
Billie Jo was away when her 20-month-old grandson vanished from their home in Savannah early October 5.
At one point Simon spoke out claiming she had become a prisoner in her own home after being suspected of being involved in her son’s disappearance.
The young mother told WTOC in a teary interview how she has had to barricade herself in her yard to hide from protesters – with some even leaving signs like ‘Baby Killer’ on a memorial she set up outside for her son.
‘I’m here, I’ve been here every day since this. I’m not running and I’m not hiding,’ she told the local news station.
‘And if something does come up that I am at fault, I will take myself to the police station.’
She went on to slam protesters who have been gathering outside her home, saying: ‘It makes it hard to even process what’s going [on] around us.’
‘I can’t even walk out and appreciate my own son’s memorial or put down gifts that I got for him,’ she continued.
Billie Jo was away when her 20-month-old grandson vanished from their home in Savannah early October 5
At one stage, Simon tried to pin his disappearance on his biological father claiming her ex-lover snatched the toddler from her Savannah home in the darkness of night.
It prompted police to track down and confront Quinton’s long-absent father shortly after she reported him missing on October 5.
DailyMail.com located the tragic boy’s biological father at his home 85 miles from Savannah and in an exclusive interview Henry Moss – who is known as Bubba – revealed how his ex tried to blame him for the boy’s vanishing.
Leilani Simon (pictured in a 2020 mugshot) told police that her ex-lover Henry Moss, who is called Bubba, snatched her son Quinton Simon from her Savannah home in the darkness of night. He is speaking out to DailyMail.com for the first time
‘Leilani’s tried to blame it on me,’ the shaggy-haired 24-year-old told DailyMail.com in a soft southern drawl.
He said he was mowing his boss’s lawn when police pulled up.
‘They asked did I have him and when was the last time I was in Savannah?’ he recalled. ‘They told me Leilani said I came and got him overnight.’
Bubba, who lives in Girard, Georgia, a rural town of 250 people, told police that he hadn’t been anywhere near Savannah.
Bubba vowed he told police the truth – that he was home when Quinton disappeared. He said he presented alibis and that there was also CCTV footage from the next-door gas station that proved he didn’t leave his home overnight.
At that time, it was just a missing person’s case.
‘I told police – she’s gonna hurt that baby,’ he recalled. ‘I said I didn’t know what was going on. Hell, I haven’t heard from her in six to seven months.
‘She’s a terrible person and she’s going to jail, or hell. She’s evil. She shouldn’t be here out in society.’
‘If she didn’t want him, she could have told me,’ he added. ‘I would have come and got him.’
In October DailyMail.com located the boy’s biological father at his home 85 miles from Savannah, Georgia. Bubba Moss revealed to DailyMail.com how Leilani tried to pin his son’s disappearance on him