Quinton Simon is a Georgia toddler, just shy of two years of age, who has been missing for less than a week. Police on Tuesday said they’ve “seized evidence” they believe should “move this case forward.”
“[W]e’re now working to analyze the evidence to see where it leads us,” the Chatham County Police Department said. “We continue to pursue all avenues to bring Quinton home, following all leads and evidence.”
The boy was reported missing from his home in Savannah, Ga. on the morning of Oct. 5, 2022. Search efforts have been going on for days in areas near his home. The FBI has offered support and assistance to determine if Simon was abducted, according to ABC News.
Over 40 federal agents are currently involved in search efforts to retrieve the boy, local authorities said this week.
“We’re going to hold out hope that he’s still alive, and that we can find him and bring him home safe to his parents,” Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley said during a press conference the day after the boy was reported missing. “But, we’ll continue to look at all angles and exhaust all investigative avenues.”
Few details have come out since the search parties began.
Police believe Simon was last seen at his home sometime around 6:00 a.m. the day he went missing by his mother’s boyfriend. By around 9:40 a.m. that same day, his mother reported him missing.
With the help of helicopters, drones, K-9 units, and thermal technology, police on Saturday claimed to have already “exhausted” the grid of areas where a child Simon’s age could have made wandered off to during the requite time period.
“We’ve tried to use every available resource that we can that makes sense within the scope of our investigation to try to get a better understanding of what’s happened,” Hadley said over the weekend.
Little progress was announced for a few days in the search for the 20-month-old.
“I want to update you on our aggressive efforts to find him,” the police chief said during a Monday press conference. “I want to assure everyone that we are continuing to use every investigative resource available for us to locate little Quentin. We have conducted multiple interviews, executed multiple search warrants, and we’ve canvassed numerous geographic areas.”
As for the latest development, aside form the broad categorization as “evidence,” police are currently keeping mum about just what direction, exactly, the investigation is now heading toward.
The department said there would be “no further public statements today” when making the announcement.
So far, however, police have been clear about what is ruled out. The CCPD previously said that Simon’s disappearance did not appear to be the result of a child custody dispute and that his biological father is not a suspect in his mysterious disappearance.
Those who know him best are shocked.
“It’s been horrible,” babysitter Diana McCarta told Savannah-based ABC affiliate WJCL. “I keep seeing picturing his face. I can’t sleep at night because I see his face smiling at me the last day I’d seen him.”
According to the TV station, citing court documents, Simon’s grandparents, Billie Jo Howell, and her husband are who actually have custody of the missing boy and his 3-year-old brother.
“She hasn’t always done the right thing,” Howell said, in reference to her daughter, last week. “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.”
Those same court documents show a longstanding dispute between Simon’s grandparents and his mother, Leilani Simon, over efforts to remove her and her boyfriend, from the residence, WJCL reports.
[image via Chatham County Police Department]
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