A 22-year-old mother in Georgia was indicted on a series of felony charges following the recovery of her 20-month-old son’s body from a landfill.
A grand jury in Chatham County on Wednesday returned a true bill indicting Leilani Maree Simon on 19 charges, including two counts of felony murder and one count each of malice murder and concealing the death of another in connection with the death of young Quinton Simon, according to court records reviewed by reporters.
In addition, Simon faces 14 counts of making a false statement and one count of false reporting of a crime.
According to a copy of the eight-page indictment obtained by reporters, prosecutors allege that Simon killed Quinton on Oct. 5, 2022 with an unknown object that caused serious bodily harm to a person when used offensively and caused Quinton’s death.
The felony murder charges stem from accusations that Simon killed Quinton while also committing felonious acts of aggravated assault and first-degree cruelty to a child by “maliciously” causing Quinton “cruel and excessive physical pain” in a manner that was unknown to the grand jury when the indictment was filed.
The document details Simon’s unlawful concealment of Quinton’s death by “disposing of him in a dumpster at Azalea Mobile Home Plaza” in order to “hinder the discovery of whether Quinton was unlawfully killed.”
On Oct. 5, Simon allegedly gave the Chatham County Police Department a false report of a crime by implying that Quinton Simon had been abducted by an unknown intruder.
In addition to providing additional details into what investigators believe happened after Simon allegedly killed her son, the indictment accuses her of repeatedly lying to police and federal agents searching for him.
She “admitted that she had left her home in the late night hours of October 4, 2022 to meet her drug dealer, falsely stating that the purpose of this meeting was to pay for an existing drug debt,” according to the document. In addition, Simon is accused of falsely claiming that she only used marijuana within 24 hours of reporting Quinton missing.
Prosecutors claim Simon falsely claimed in the early morning hours of Oct. 5 that she left her home to “meet ‘Misty’ to acquire Orajel’ when in fact, she traveled to the Azalea Mobile Home Plaza to dispose of her son’s body.
Simon repeatedly made false statements about her whereabouts and actions on the morning of Oct. 5 in subsequent interviews. Then, on Oct. 31, she allegedly claimed that it was her boyfriend, Daniel Youngkin, who left the house on Oct. 5.
On Nov. 21, Simon admitted, however, that she had left her house on Oct. 5 and traveled to Azalea Mobile Home Plaza, but falsely claimed to investigators that she did not remember what she had done there.
On Nov. 18, human remains were discovered in the landfill. It was confirmed on Nov. 28 by the FBI that the remains were those of Quinton.
In a press conference held Wednesday afternoon, Chatham County District Attorney Shalena Cook Jones announced the indictment.
“It’s a matter that calls our very humanity into question,” she stated. “These are the cases that keep us up at night. These are the cases that deserve justice.”