The FBI is frantically searching for missing Georgia toddler Quinton Simon
Police and FBI agents are frantically searching for a toddler who disappeared from his Georgia home five days ago.
The 20-month-old boy, Quinton Simon, was reported missing by his mother on Wednesday morning after she last saw him around 6am in his playpen at the Savannah home she shares with her parents
Officers are working 18-hour days to try to locate the boy and have searched several areas since the little boy’s disappearance, including the home, a backyard pool and a nearby pond, but have so far come up empty-handed.
“I hope he’s still alive,” Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley said of little Quinton at a news conference Thursday. “We don’t have any information to believe he’s not, but statistically we know how these cases can end.”
Hadley added that officers found no evidence to suggest foul play was involved in the boy’s disappearance.
“We will hope that he is still alive, that we can find him and bring him home safely to his parents,” he said.
The department and the FBI have used K-9 teams, drones, helicopters, mounted officers and heat detection technology in the search for Quinton.
Quinton lived in a house with his mother, 22, his brother, 3, his mother’s boyfriend and maternal grandparents, local ABC affiliate WJCL reported.
According to the local broadcaster, his grandparents Billie Jo and Thomas Howell have custody of Quinton and his older brother.
“She hasn’t always done the right thing,” Billie Jo Howell said of her daughter Leilani, Quinton’s mother, in an interview with the network. “Sometimes she’s really great at it, sometimes she’s not … I don’t know if I can trust her — I don’t know.”
She fought back tears as she said she just wanted her baby home.
“All I know is that it hurts me and I want this baby to be home,” she said. “He’s my baby.”
Court documents obtained by WJCL show that Billie Jo Howell attempted to evict the child’s mother and her boyfriend from their home in early September.
“They damaged my property and no one lives in peace at this time,” she said in the court filings.
Police have responded to the home twice in the past two years, according to the Chatham County Police Department. The department did not provide details of those calls, but said neither did previous reports of a missing child.
Police said on Wednesday there was no evidence Quinton was kidnapped and that his case did not appear to be a custody battle.
However, officials have not completely ruled out that the boy may have been kidnapped, and the FBI is assisting the search as it is a possible kidnapping.
The Chatham County Police Department continues to treat Quinton’s disappearance as a missing persons case.
The department said officers were re-searching certain areas Sunday morning as they continue to search for the little boy.
Law enforcement officials also introduced a new tipster hotline — 912-667-3134 — set up specifically for information about the child and his disappearance.
“The search for Quinton Simon is our top priority and the intensity of our work is as strong as it has been since the day he disappeared,” the department said in a statement.