"Everybody is being looked at, everybody is being interviewed," said the police chief.
A 20-month-old, Quinton Simon went missing from his home in Savannah last week. More than 40 FBI personnel and Chatham County Police Department have been in search of the boy, as reported by NBC news. The child was last seen by his mother's boyfriend around 6 am on October 5. When his mother looked for him around 9:39 am, the child was missing. He was living with his mother Lelani Simon, her boyfriend, and his maternal grandparents. Diana McCarta, the toddler's babysitter revealed that she got an odd text telling her to not babysit. After learning the boy was missing, she offered to help but was told not to come home by his mother.
“We’re looking at it from multiple fronts, one of it being a criminal investigation as well as a missing child at this point,” Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley said at a press conference. “We don’t have anything confirmed so can’t say anything absolutely, but it is fair to say that our efforts in the cooperation with the FBI and them providing an abundance of resources to us that we are looking at the criminal aspect of it,” according to CNN news.
He did not name anyone in the case but said, "everybody is being looked at, everybody is being interviewed." He said that investigators have carried out multiple interviews and issued multiple search warrants. They also searched the house again on Monday to make sure that nothing was missed from the earlier searches.
Today we will be re-canvassing some specific areas in our search for Quinton Simon. We are not in need of volunteers, but want to keep you informed about our efforts to find this little boy. The FBI continues to provide assistance and support, as they have since day one. pic.twitter.com/f8XTPYE3bR— Chatham County Police Department (@ChathamCountyPD) October 9, 2022
The Chatham County Police Department tweeted on Saturday, "Finding Quinton Simon is our highest priority, and the intensity of our work is as strong as it has been since the day of his disappearance. We appreciate everyone’s offers of assistance, but we are not in need of volunteers. FBI assistance continues. Updates here as they happen."
Diana McCarta, the toddler's babysitter, was looking after Quinton and his brother, Zane for the past 6 months. She said, “I got a text this morning saying they would not be here — would not be babysitting them at 5:29 [a.m.]. Which was kind of odd because I have them even when she doesn’t work,” referring to his mother, according to WSAV. “My heart is broken,” she said. “I’m not his mother, I’m not his family, but I love him very much and I just don’t know what could happen,” she added.
His grandparents, Billie Jo Howell, and her husband had custody of the child. According to them, the story their daughter told the police doesn't make sense. "Because she has lied to us so many times and it's bad to say but she just likes to lie", the grandfather told NBC. They had tried to evict their daughter and boyfriend from the house in September. Billie got emotional about her grandson and said, "He hugs me, he likes me to pick him up and play with him." The police department and the FBI have deployed K-9 teams, drones, helicopters, officers on horseback, and heat-detecting technology to search for the child.
"We understand that people far beyond Chatham County have become emotionally invested in this incident and the search for Quinton and they want answers. We're committed to finding those answers and we are committed to finding Quinton," said Jeff Hadley.
Anyone with information about the disappearance is urged to visit the Chatham County Police Department's website or the Savannah-Chatham County Crime Stoppers at (912) 234-2020. A cash reward is being offered for information leading to the baby's safe return.
Cover Image Source: Facebook/ Chatham County Police Department