The grandmother of toddler Quinton Simon who told the FBI that her daughter was a ‘flight risk’ ahead of her arrest, has posted a video breaking down into tears following an accusation that ‘she knew her daughter killed him.’
The toddler’s mother Leilani Simon, 22, was charged with his murder after human remains, believed to be those of the little boy, were found in a Georgia landfill site.
Leilani will spend her second night in jail after being arrested and charged on Monday after reporting her 20-month-old son missing on October 5.
In a short video to TikTok Leilani’s mother and Quinton’s grandmother Billi Jo Howell, 45, can be seen sitting in a chair with her hand resting on her forehead.
Howell appears to be distraught with a comment visible on the video asking: ‘Why were you harboring Leilani when you knew she killed Quinton the whole time?’
‘Why would you assume I did,’ Howell begins to say before taking a brief pause.
‘I’ve lost so much, but nobody cares.’
Billie Jo Howell posted a video to Tik Tok breaking down into tears following the accusation that ‘she knew her daughter killed’ her grandson Quinton
Howell, 45, thinks the missing toddler accidentally drowned in a bathtub because her daughter and boyfriend were out of it on drugs
Breaking down into tears the distraught mother and grandmother then turns away from the camera ending the short clip.
Speaking to WTOC Howell expressed her deep sadness explaining that she couldn’t go into further detail about the case, before handing the phone to a family friend.
The family friend said that a few weeks ago that Leilani had checked herself into a treatment center and had been there ever since.
Howell had been in communication with the FBI on a daily basis since her grandson’s disappearance was reported as had Leilani.
The friend went on to say that Howell had heard that her daughter was planning to check herself out of the treatment center when she called the FBI.
‘[Howell] had to make one of the hardest decisions of her life, and call the FBI agents and let them know that [Leilani] was signing herself out,’ the family friend who remained nameless said.
‘[Howell told the FBI that Leilani] could not come back here, and [that] she was going to be a flight risk, because she could not come back here.
The friend went on to say that Howell worried her daughter ‘was going to be back on the streets doing God knows what, with God knows who.’
At the request of FBI, Howell picked up Leilani from the treatment center and spent the last few free hours with her daughter ‘buying some time’ for the FBI.
‘They asked her to buy some time. So, she went and picked up Leilani’s belongings from another center, and then she took Leilani to have her last free meal,’ the family friend said.
Howell had been in speaking with the FBI on a daily basis since her grandson’s disappearance was reported, as had Leilani. Here the pair are speaking to media before Leilani’s arrest
Diana McCarta, who babysat Quinton for 10 months, recounting the day she received a text message saying she wouldn’t have to babysit the next day, she wants justice for Quinton
After taking her daughter from the treatment center she had been staying and having a meal, Howell took Leilani to the Savannah FBI office, where just a few hours later she was arrested
After the meal, Howell took her daughter to the Savannah FBI office, where just a few hours later she was arrested and charged with Quinton’s murder.
Friends, family and acquaintances have had a strong reaction to the arrest, Diana McCarta, who babysat Quinton for 10 months, recounting the day he went missing.
‘You wonder what he had to endure from the time that he left my house, to the morning when I got the text [saying I wouldn’t need to babysit the next day],’ she told WTOC.
‘I can’t even imagine, and I don’t want to think about it because it drives me crazy.
‘I just don’t know how any mother could hurt their child. I don’t know what could be going through their head for them to hurt their child.’
Leilana was transported to the Chatham County Detention Center on Monday where she will await a bond hearing.
Police say they do not anticipate making any other arrests in connection with the case.
The 22-year-old has been charged with malice, murder, concealing the death of another person, false reporting and making false statements in connection with the disappearance and death of her son.
During a press conference on Monday night Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley said police confirmed they had found human remains on Friday with DNA analysis currently being conducted – after a month-long search.
‘Our search teams at the waste management landfill found what they believed were human remains this afternoon,’ he said.
Leilani is charged with malice, murder, concealing the death of another person, false reporting and making false statements in connection with the disappearance and death of her son
Twenty-month-old Quinton Simon had been missing since October 5 but his remains are believed to have been found in a landfill site in Georgia
During a press conference Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley said police confirmed they had found human remains with DNA analysis being conducted
‘The FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia confirmed that they are in fact human remains and additional testing including DNA analysis is being conducted and we have every reason to believe that this will confirm the remains are Quentin’s.’
Hadley became visibly emotional during the 15 minutes press conference as he described the findings as a ‘heartbreaking development’.
‘This is a heartbreaking development for everyone who loved Quentin for the many people who came to know him after his disappearance and for our department when we first received the call that Quentin was missing, we were hopeful that we would find him alive and unharmed,’ he said.
‘But as we have been telling you for weeks all of our evidence pointed to his mother being responsible for his death and disappearance and his remains being found in the landfill.’
The Chatham County Police Chief told how the search of Little Neck Landfill, which continues, began one month ago with the partial remains of a human child eventually being found.
‘What happened to this 20-month-old child is unthinkable,’ said Will Clarke, senior supervisory resident agent in charge of the FBI’s Savannah and Brunswick offices.
‘No child should be harmed by anyone, let alone the person in their lives that should be their protector.
‘This investigation does not end here. There is more work to do. The FBI along with our law enforcement partners will continue to find justice for Quentin.
‘[Leilani] has been the sole suspect since the beginning. We feel that we have a very strong case. [Leilani] doesn’t deserve a Thanksgiving, frankly. Quinton deserves that.’
Leilani reported 20-month-old Quinton missing from their Savannah, Georgia home on October 5. His body has not been found, but police have ruled that he was murdered.
Quinton Simon pictures with his parents before the toddler went missing
The Chatham County Police Department shared photos of the team sorting through tons of garbage as they search for little Quinton
Agents were searching landfill for any signs of little Quinton’s remains. They found human remains which are undergoing DNA analysis
According to police, Leilani’s boyfriend, Danny Youngkin, was the last one to see him around 6am on the day he vanished – but it wasn’t until after 9am that his mother reported him missing. Police suspect Quinton’s body was placed in a dumpster.
Leilani was the prime suspect in the disappearance and presumed death of the 20-month-old.
Child Protective Services also removed her two other children from her custody on October 12.
Two weeks after Quinton’s disappearance, Leilani and her mother, Howell, were at Sting Ray’s, a beach bar in the nearby vacation town of Tybee Island, drowning their sorrows.
A photo of Leilani inside the bar was obtained by WSAV.
DailyMail.com revealed that the pair spent around three hours at the bar, sitting outside in a large group, downing Patron shots and pestering their server to drink with them.
After details of Leilani’s outing at the bar emerged, the local police department tweeted a photo of their landfill search for Quinton.
Quinton’s mother had lost custody of him and his brother, and had just been ordered by the state to start paying child support when he vanished.
A week beforehand, she was told she’d need to cough up $150-a-month for the boys. If one of them died, that bill would be reduced by $50.
On October 5, Quinton’s mother claimed that she woke up at 9.30am and found the door of the house open.
Quinton, she said, was nowhere to be found.
Howell has a long rap sheet that includes prior arrests for prostitution, cocaine possession and assault.
When Quinton first disappeared, she told local reporters that her daughter – who she’d previously evicted – ‘didn’t always do the right thing.’
Howell had legal custody of the little boy but was away when her 20-month-old grandson vanished from their home in Savannah
Leilani claimed she had to barricade herself inside of her Savannah, Georgia home as protesters gathered outside at all hours of the day accusing her of her son’s murder
Leilani and Howell put up security cameras and floodlights around the home. A protester is seen here carrying a sign calling them ‘Baby killers’
When Quinton’s worried babysitter spoke out about her concerns for the boy, Howell confronted her angrily.
She stormed into her house and demanded that she stop speaking publicly about their family.
Last month Howell shared her theory on the case and much more in a bombshell conversation with the child’s biological father, Henry ‘Bubba’ Moss.
In an audio of an 11-minute phone call obtained by DailyMail.com, Howell could be heard saying: ‘I feel, honestly and frankly, Bubba, I’m not going to lie to you, I feel like there was an accident.’
‘I feel like something happened while Quinton was in the bathtub, and he drowned, and they were both high. That’s my theory.’
‘Hell, they should have just called the police if something like that happened,’ Bubba replied.
‘If you’re high as hell, man, you do stupid sh*t,’ said Howell said.
The 45-year-old grandmother said police, meanwhile, have shared their own suspicion – that Leilani, the boy’s mother, ‘blacked out’ that morning.
‘The police are the ones saying that she went into a traumatic state and blacked out,’ she told Bubba in the call.
‘It’s not her saying she don’t remember. That’s what police told her. And that’s what they told me.’
Howell, who had custody of the toddler at the time, was away when her 20-month-old grandson vanished from their home in Savannah early October 5.
At one point Leilani spoke out claiming she had become a prisoner in her own home after being suspected of being involved in her son’s disappearance.
The young mother told WTOC in a teary interview how she has had to barricade herself in her yard to hide from protesters – with some even leaving signs like ‘Baby Killer’ on a memorial she set up outside for her son.
‘I’m here, I’ve been here every day since this. I’m not running and I’m not hiding,’ she told the local news station.
At one stage, Leilani tried to pin her son’s disappearance on his biological father claiming her ex-lover snatched the toddler from her Savannah home in the darkness of night
Leilani Simon told police that her ex-lover Henry Moss (left), who is called Bubba, snatched her son from her Savannah home. He said he cooperated with police and that she is ‘evil’
‘And if something does come up that I am at fault, I will take myself to the police station.’
She went on to slam protesters who have been gathering outside her home, saying: ‘It makes it hard to even process what’s going [on] around us.’
‘I can’t even walk out and appreciate my own son’s memorial or put down gifts that I got for him,’ she continued.
At one stage, Leilani tried to pin her son’s disappearance on his biological father claiming her ex-lover snatched the toddler from her Savannah home in the darkness of night.
It prompted police to track down and confront Quinton’s long-absent father shortly after she reported him missing.
DailyMail.com located the boy’s biological father at his home 85 miles from Savannah and in an exclusive interview Henry Moss – who is known as Bubba – revealed how his ex tried to blame him for the boy’s vanishing.
‘Leilani’s tried to blame it on me,’ the shaggy-haired 24-year-old told DailyMail.com in a soft southern drawl.
He said he was mowing his boss’s lawn when police pulled up.
‘They asked did I have him and when was the last time I was in Savannah?’ he recalled. ‘They told me Leilani said I came and got him overnight.’
Bubba, who lives in Girard, Georgia, a rural town of 250 people, told police that he hadn’t been anywhere near Savannah.
Bubba vowed he told police the truth – that he was home when Quinton disappeared. He said he presented alibis and that there was also CCTV footage from the next-door gas station that proved he didn’t leave his home overnight.
At that time, it was just a missing person’s case.
‘I told police – she’s gonna hurt that baby,’ he recalled. ‘I said I didn’t know what was going on. Hell, I haven’t heard from her in six to seven months.
‘She’s a terrible person and she’s going to jail, or hell. She’s evil. She shouldn’t be here out in society.’
‘If she didn’t want him, she could have told me,’ he added. ‘I would have come and got him.’