A week after 20-month-old Quinton Simon vanished from his home, a video documenting a heated altercation between the toddler's grandmother and his babysitter was obtained by a local TV station in Georgia.
Quinton Simon's mother Leilani Simon, 21 reported her son missing from his playpen on Wednesday, October 5 at around 6:30 am. She told authorities that he was last seen in his playpen three hours before his disappearance. Leilani initially believed that Simon was with his biological dad. However, police refuted her statement.
According to multiple reports, the child lived with his grandparents, his mother, and her boyfriend in west Chatham County, Georgia.
In the video, Simon’s grandmother, who reportedly has legal custody of the missing toddler and his 3-year-old brother, is seen screaming down at his babysitter in the chair.
The heated exchange reportedly occurred at Simon's babysitter Diana McCarta's home.
The video, captured by McCarta’s daughter, showed the 20-month-old’s grandmother, Billie Jo Howell, pointing her finger at the sitter and yelling, “This is my baby, not yours.”
McCartan told WASV that Quinton Simon's grandmother was allegedly enraged over the sitter’s suggestion of holding a memorial for the missing toddler.
In the video, a seemingly irate Howell, says:
“You’re awful to say you’re going to put up a memorial. My baby’s not dead.”
According to the babysitter, she was reportedly supposed to be watching Simon the day he vanished from his home.
Quinton Simon's babysitter received a cryptic message on the day he vanished
Diana McCarta alleged that she received a strange text from Quinton Simon's mother at around 5 am on the day he disappeared from his home. The text reportedly stated that the family would not need her to watch the kids that day.
The Chatham County Police Department previously asserted that they did not suspect foul play in the case. The police did not elucidate the details of the investigation. However, on October 11, authorities declared this a criminal case, the New York Post reported.
Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley told reporters they were investigating the possibility of any criminal involvement in the case.
In a statement, he said:
“We don’t have anything confirmed, so we can’t say anything absolutely. But it is fair to say that our efforts and the cooperation with the FBI providing an abundance of resources to us, that we are looking at the criminal investigation aspect of it, as well.”
According to multiple reports, more than 40 FBI agents are assisting local police in finding the missing toddler.
So far, the authorities have covered a lot of ground in their search for Simon. Officers have drained the family’s backyard pool, searched a nearby pond, and scoured areas in the community, but to no avail.
However, the local police department in a Twitter post said that they have uncovered new evidence and will pursue all leads to find the child. The police did not disclose details relating to the evidence as this is still an active investigation.