Police Address Why Quinton Simon’s Mom Hasn’t Been Arrested As She Parties Amid Search For His Body

The evidence against her is stacking up.

Quinton Simon, Leilani Simon Facebook

As the grueling search continues for the missing Georgia toddler, Quinton Simon, his mother and grandmother have been seen drinking and partying in a bar.

On October 18, Quinton Simon’s mother and grandmother were spotted taking shots on the deck of a restaurant, Sting Ray’s, just outside Savannah, Georgia.

Leilani Simon and her mother, Billie Jo Howell, allegedly stayed at the establishment for hours while they drank. 


On October 12, Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley named Leilani as a prime suspect in the case and stated that the investigation had led to the “heartbreaking conclusion” that the 20-month-old is dead.


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Authorities and the FBI are continuing to search a landfill for the body of the toddler, they have not revealed what evidence brought the investigation to the landfill.

What evidence is there against Quinton Simon’s mother, Leilani Simon?

While in her care, Quinton was reported missing by Leilani on October 5.

Throughout the investigation, Leilani has displayed seemingly odd and suspicious behavior.

Leilani Simon’s account of Quinton’s disappearance has been inconsistent.

According to ABC27, Leilani had initially told police that Quinton had been taken by his father and offered a story didn't make any sense.


Later that afternoon, police confirmed that the father wasn't involved. Leilani also claimed claimed that Quinton had "wandered" off.

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In an interview with WSAV, Quinton's grandfather said of his daughter, “That’s just bad to say, but she just likes to lie.”

Quinton Simon’s babysitter claimed he often had bruises after staying with his mother.

In a deleted Facebook live, Diana McCarta claimed that when she came to babysit the children she spotted “bruises” on them. 

She told Billie Jo, who allegedly cared for the children most of the time, she said she would “talk to Lilani.” 


However, nothing was done and the bruises continued to appear. 

The babysitter claimed that she was supposed to babysit Quinton on the day of his disappearance, but was informed by his family that she was not needed for the day. 


"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,” McCarta told WSAV. 

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McCarta said she then received another text a few hours later asking if she'd seen the toddler. 

"I immediately go to their house. I try to help them look, [but] they didn’t want that. So, I’ve been just waiting around like everyone else.”

Leilani Simon admitted to abusing drugs while pregnant.

On October 17, Leilani appearing in court for a hearing about the custody of Quinton’s siblings who are about 6 months and 3 years old.


Filings revealed that Leilani “is a chronic, unrehabilitated substance abuser of cocaine and cannabis.” 

The documents say she admitted using cocaine and tested positive for it at the birth of one of her kids.

Leilani’s mother had custody of Quinton and the two other children but, after being granted guardianship, Howell “failed to provide adequate supervision” and left them in Leilani’s care, the document says.

The two other children have been placed in foster care.

Why hasn’t Leilani Simon been arrested?

Police chief Hadley said in a press conference this week that the department is not bringing charges “yet” to avoid rushing the case and harming future prosecution.


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"We still have work to do. We still have an investigation to do, and we're not going to do anything pre-emptively that would harm future prosecution," Hadley said.

"I believe in our investigators. I believe in the expertise we've brought to bear here. We're tracking in the right direction."


True crime sleuths have been analyzing Leilani Simon’s social media accounts.

Two years before Quinton vanished, Simon posted a video to her TikTok account of her lip-syncing to Billie Eilish’s song, “Bad Guy.”  



Many people believed that Simon, who is the prime suspect in her son’s disappearance, was alluding to her future crime. 

“Oh, how accurate..” one TikTok user commented. “The unalive my child type”. Hope you rot in prison for what you’ve done to that precious baby!!!” another user wrote.


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Megan Quinn is a news writer at YourTango who covers crime, current affairs and social justice topics.