US NEWS: Police: Missing Georgia toddler believed dead, mom a suspect

A Georgia toddler reported missing by his mother last week is believed to be dead, according to police, and his mother has been named a suspect in the boy’s death.

In a tweet late Wednesday, the Chatham County Police Department said, “We are saddened to report that CCPD and the FBI have notified Quinton Simon’s family that we believe he is deceased. We have named his mother, Leilani Simon, as the prime suspect in his disappearance and death.”

No arrests have been made and no charges have been filed, the tweet said. It wasn’t immediately known Thursday if Leilani Simon had a lawyer who could speak on her behalf.

Simon told officers on Oct. 5 that her 20-month-old son had been in his playpen before she discovered he was missing, Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley said then. Police fanned out across a neighborhood just outside Savannah to search for the toddler, described as last seen wearing a Sesame Street T-shirt and black pants.

“We’re very concerned about Quinton,” Hadley told reporters at the time. “We’re hoping we can find him safe and bring him home to his parents.”

The police chief said officers had contacted the boy’s biological father and did not believe he was involved. Officers also performed a cursory search of the child’s home but didn’t find him hiding inside, he added.

No Amber Alert was issued for the missing boy, Hadley said, because that would require police to first determine the child had been abducted.

Hadley planned to hold a news conference Thursday to discuss the case.

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