You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Quinton Simon: A full timeline of events surrounding the disappearance and death of Savannah toddler

WJCL 12/1/2022 Graham Cawthon
quinton simon © Chatham County Police quinton simon

Above video: The latest information

landfill search © Chatham County Police landfill search

Here is what we know right now about the disappearance of Quinton Simon. Check back for updates as they develop.

Sign up for our Newsletters

Wednesday, October 5

Quinton is seen around 6 a.m. in his playpen at his Buckhalter Road home.

He is noticed missing around 9 a.m. and the police are contacted.

Chatham County Police, Savannah Police mounted patrol, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a Liberty County Sheriff's Office K-9 team and a Mosquito Control helicopter take part in the search.

landfill search © Chatham County Police landfill search

Below: Raw video: Mosquito Control helicopter aids in search for missing Chatham County toddler

Neighbors also assist in the search, without success.

Buckhalter Road and nearby roads are temporarily closed during the day.

Below: Search begins for missing toddler

Thursday, October 6

Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley holds a press conference saying, in part, police are treating the case as a missing person investigation and there is no evidence to indicate Quinton is no longer alive.

landfill search © Chatham County Police landfill search

Below: Chatham County Police Chief gives update on missing toddler search

WJCL speaks with Quinton's grandparents, Thomas and Billie Jo Howell, about the boy and the ongoing search.

Below: Grandparents of missing child discuss search

Friday, October 7

Chief Hadley provides an update on the case during his regularly scheduled presentation to Chatham County Commissioners.

In court documents obtained by WJCL, it is learned that the grandparents are the ones who have custody of Quinton and that the grandmother was trying to remove the child's mother, Leilani Simon, and her boyfriend, Daniel Youngkin, from the home.

landfill search © Chatham County Police landfill search

Below: Court documents show 'no one is living in peace'

Gallery: Family Photos of Quinton Simon

Chatham County Police issue a statement reading detectives are working 18-20 hour days and some outdoor searches continue, including a search of a pond.

leilani simon © Chatham County Detention Center leilani simon

Searches are conducted on the home, a backyard pool and the pond.

Saturday, October 8

The Chatham County Police Department issues a statement saying the search continues, they are not in need of volunteers and the FBI is still aiding in the investigation.

Sunday, October 9

CCPD issues a statement saying they are re-canvassing specific areas in the search for Quinton.

CCPD establishes a tipline for information surrounding the case: 912-667-3134.

Monday, October 10

Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley holds a press conference providing the latest on the investigation. Watch it in full in the video below.

Chatham Fire is called to the home to pump the backyard pool.

WJCL requests the initial 911 call placed by Quinton's mom. The request is denied by the county attorney, citing the ongoing investigation.

"We want to make sure we do this as professionally and as expertly as we can, so if-- and I say if -- we have to prosecute anyone in this case, that we've done it right," said Chief Hadley.

A 911 dispatch call obtained by WJCL shows that Quinton's mother found the front door open and said she believed someone came in and took him.

Tuesday, October 11

Chatham County Police issue a statement saying they have seized evidence they believe will lead to closure in the investigation.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children issues a statement on the case. The following is from John Bischoff, vice president of the division's missing children division:

“As the search for Quinton Simon nears the one-week mark, we encourage the community to keep sharing Quinton’s story. This case has touched the hearts of countless people beyond the Savannah community and anyone, no matter where you live, can get involved to help find him. Here at the National Center, we know that all it takes is one person to bring a missing child home and we will not give up hope until Quinton is found. We’re here to support law enforcement as they continue to work diligently to find Quinton and safely bring him home.”

Wednesday, October 12

The Chatham County Police Department issues a statement which reads, "Today marks one week since Quinton Simon was reported missing. We will be at his home where he was last seen with a team of search dogs and investigators. We will spend today gathering and analyzing evidence. We expect to schedule a media briefing tomorrow."[/facebook

Chatham County Police later issue a statement saying, in part:

"We are saddened to report that CCPD and the FBI have notified Quinton Simon’s family that we believe he is deceased. We have named his mother, Leilani Simon, as the prime suspect in his disappearance and death. But, no arrests have been made and no charges have been filed."

A press conference is scheduled for Thursday.

Thursday, October 13

Chatham County Police and the FBI held a joint press conference in which they said their search has led them to believe Quinton is dead, but no body has been found. The investigation is ongoing, and the child's mother is the prime suspect but has not yet been charged.

Police say the investigation into what happened to Quinton remains ongoing.

WJCL speaks with a legal expert about why Leilani Simon could have been named a 'prime suspect' in the case ahead of criminal charges being filed.

Friday, October 14

The Chatham County Police Department announces they don't believe there will be any searches for Quinton through Sunday. Investigators will continue, however, to gather and analyze evidence during that time.

A memorial forms outside Quinton's home.

Tuesday, October 18

Police and the FBI say Quinton's remains were placed in a dumpster and taken to a nearby landfill.

Now an extensive search of the landfill is underway in the hopes of finding the child's remains.

Drone video provided by CCPD shows the search at the landfill beginning.

Wednesday, October 19

The search continues at the landfill.

Multiple witnesses say Leilani Simon and her mother, Billie Jo Howell, were seen drinking shots at a Tybee Island establishment.

WJCL also learned that police were called to a Tybee motel twice after hecklers discovered Quinton's family members were staying there.

Friday, October 21

Chatham County Commissioners approve a reallocation of funds to cover $250,000 in expenses from the search for Quinton Simon.

Due to exposure to health and safety hazards, the search at the landfill is paused for the weekend.

Saturday, October 22

Police confirm several protesters were arrested outside the Simon family home, where Quinton was last seen.

Monday, October 24

The search at the landfill resumes.

In an interview, Leilani Simon says she hopes her son will be found "happy and alive" and said she is not hiding from law enforcement.

Wednesday, October 26

The Chatham County Police Department issues a statement on the ongoing search:

"We are now three weeks into our search for Quinton Simon, and finding him remains the top priority for the Chatham County Police Department. We are committed to giving Quinton the professional, detailed, and thorough investigation that he deserves.

Thanks to the expertise of the FBI -- who was on the ground with us w/in 3 hours of Quinton being reported missing -- we have had the advantage of using every investigative & technological tool available.

No expense has been spared, no work has been deemed too much or too difficult to undertake.

The exhaustive search of the landfill where we believe Quinton’s remains are located continues. As we told you last week, this is not a quick process.

At the same time, our investigative case team is working diligently to put together every piece of evidence to determine the facts in this case.

The search for Quinton has been the most massive undertaking ever for our department, and has involved the work of well over 100 law enforcement and civilian personnel.

We would like to thank the following agencies for their assistance with manpower, expertise, and equipment during the last three weeks:FBI, GBI, Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, Savannah Police Department, Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, Chatham Emergency Management Agency, Chatham Emergency Services, Savannah Fire Department, Chatham County Parks and Recreation, Chatham County Occupational Safety, Waste Management"

Friday, October 28

Chatham County Police share additional photos from the search.

As with the week before, the search is set to be paused for the weekend.

Monday, October 31

The search at the landfill resumes.

Wednesday, November 2

Four weeks have passed since Quinton was last seen.

Chatham County Police issue a statement on the ongoing search.

Quinton's paternal grandfather is killed by a hit-and-run driver in Burke County.

Thursday, November 3

Following yet another arrest outside Quinton Simon's home, Chatham County Police say they will take measures to limit protests outside the home.

Thursday, November 10

The landfill search is suspended due to Tropical Storm Nicole.

Monday, November 14

Chatham County Police release a statement saying, as work resumes on the landfill search, there is no scheduled end date but the search has been physically, mentally and emotionally burdensome on the dozens of law enforcement professionals who are working to find Quinton's remains.

Friday, November 18

Quinton Simon's babysitter holds a candlelight vigil in his honor.

Possible human remains are found at the landfill.

Sunday, November 20

Police announce they are pausing the landfill search so that searchers and support teams can take a necessary break. The pause coincides with Waste Management's holiday schedule for the week.

Monday, November 21

Preliminary findings show the remains found at the landfill are human. Authorities believe the remains are that of Quinton.

Leiliani Simon is charged in the murder of her missing toddler, as well as concealing the death of another, false statements or writings to conceal facts or fraudulent documents in matters of government and false report of a crime.

Below: Press conference by police, FBI

Monday, November 28

The FBI confirms the remains discovered at the landfill are that of Quinton.

READ THE FULL STORY:Quinton Simon: A full timeline of events surrounding the disappearance and death of Savannah toddler

CHECK OUT WJCL:Get the latest Savannah news. WJCL gives you online, anytime access to the biggest Georgia news and Lowcountry weather of the day.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon