Bones found in a Georgia landfill earlier this month belonged to missing toddler Quinton Simon, the FBI has confirmed.
The 20-month-old boy was reported missing by his mother, Leilani Simon, on October 5 and she has since been arrested and charged with malicious murder, concealment of another person’s death, and other counts .
The youngster’s remains were found Nov. 18 after authorities conducted a 30-day search during which investigators searched 1.2 million pounds of trash at Savannah’s Upper Landfill.
He was last seen alive in his park around 6 a.m. on October 5 at a home in Savannah, where he lived with his mother, boyfriend, grandparents and siblings.
Ms Simon told police she woke up later in the day to find her son gone and believed someone had entered his room and taken him away.
FBI officials in Atlanta confirmed Monday the identification of the remains following DNA analysis.
After the FBI completed the first day of searching the landfill, Ms Simon was seen drinking tequila at a bar on nearby Tybee Island with her mother.
And on October 24, Ms Simon made her first media appearance, saying she was ‘not hiding’ and hoped her son would be found ‘happy and alive’.
A preliminary hearing for Leilani Simon, 22, is scheduled for January 11, 2023.
Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley said after his arrest that he does not anticipate any further arrests in the case. “She’s been the only suspect all along,” Chief Hadley said.
Police say Ms Simon’s boyfriend, Danny Youngkin, was the last to see him, around 6am on the day of his disappearance. It was only after 9 a.m. that her mother reported her missing.
“She doesn’t deserve a Thanksgiving, quite frankly, if I can get off the script a bit,” Mr. Hadley said.
FBI Special Agent Will Clark said at the press conference: “A month ago we began this discharge search alongside the Chatham County Police Department with one goal in mind, namely to find Quinton and bring him home.
“On Friday, FBI and Chatham County search teams found what we initially believe to be partial remains of a human child. These bones were immediately sent to our lab in Quantico, Va. Further testing for potential confirmation are currently underway, it could take days before we have the final results.
He added: “What happened to this 20 month old child is unthinkable. No child should be hurt by anyone, let alone the person in their life who should be their protector.
The Independent Gt