Quinton Simon update: FBI, investigators continue searching for Georgia toddler missing 6 days

Billie Jo Howell Savannah, GA: Grandmother said Quinton Simon's mother 'hasn't always done the right thing'

ByAndy Cole, WJCL
Monday, October 10, 2022
'He's just a baby': FBI continues search for missing Georgia toddler
The FBI and investigators continue to search for Quinton Simon, a toddler missing from Savannah, Georgia.

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Investigators, including the FBI, are re-canvassing specific areas, looking for a 20 month old missing from his home in Savannah, Georgia for six days.

Quinton Simon's babysitter, Diana McCarta, has been heartbroken since she learned of the news after receiving a text from the Simons family that the young boy vanished. She said she has been their caregiver for the last 10 months.

"It's been horrible," McCarta said. "I keep seeing, picturing his face. I can't sleep at night because I see his face smiling at me the last time I seen him."

Police said he was last seen about 6 a.m. Wednesday and was reported missing to police after 9 a.m.

Right now, there are still many questions to be answered.

Chatham County Police said that Simon is still considered a missing person as they search for the young boy; however, they don't believe there was any foul play involved, and hope the boy is still alive, WJCL reported.

"I hope he's still alive," Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley said during a press conference Thursday. "We don't have any information to believe he's not."

Because of the possibility the case could be an abduction, the FBI is involved, scouring the area by land and air looking for any signs of life.

Thomas and Billie Jo Howell are Simon's grandparents. They say their daughter, Simon's mother Leilani, is 22.

"She hasn't always done the right thing," Billie Jo said of her daughter. "Sometimes she does really great, sometimes she doesn't. I don't know what to think right now. I don't know what to believe, because I don't think anybody ever believes this is going to happen to them. I don't know if I can trust her or I don't. I just know I'm hurting and I want this baby home. He's my baby."

They say, more than anything, they want answers.

"Whether it's the answers we want to hear or answers we don't want to hear, we just want to know something," said Thomas Howell.

"He's just a baby," Billie Jo Howell added. "And I want him home; he's just a baby.

Howell has legal custody of Simon and his 3-year-old brother, WJCL reported.

Last month, Howell filed court documents to evict her daughter and her daughter's boyfriend from the home.

But, police have said, there doesn't appear to be a custody dispute.

Chief Hadley said they executed search warrants on the house itself, the swimming pool out back and a nearby pond.

"I still hold out hope," Chief Hadley said. "The Elizabeth Smart case comes to my mind. Many years ago in Utah, I believe she was gone for several months and ended up being found. So if I can hold onto that hope, if there's something we can glam onto and keep us moving, we're gonna do that."

Simon was last seen wearing a light blue "Sesame Street" shirt and black pants.

Investigators are urging anyone with information about his whereabouts to call 911.