Missing Toddler Quinton Simon’s Babysitter and Grandma Have Blazing Row

Chatham County Sheriff
Chatham County Sheriff

Georgia toddler Quinton Simon has been missing for a week—and tensions are flaring.

The 20-month-old’s grandmother, Billie Jo Howell, who had custody of him and his siblings, reportedly barged into the home of his babysitter, Diana McCarta, sparking a blazing argument.

Howell was reportedly incensed that McCarta spoke about creating a memorial for Quinton.

“My baby’s not dead,” the grandmother could be heard yelling on video recorded by McCarta’s daughter and obtained by WSAV.

The confrontation got so heated that at one point McCarta dared Howell, “Hit me, hit me,” prompting the other woman to say, “Do you think I would do that?”

The two women were screaming that the other one was a liar and at one point Howell shouted at McCarta, “Do you have Quinton? You’re the only one who can go in my house and take him.”

McCarta was supposed to watch Quinton on Oct. 5 when his mother, Leilani Simon, texted her to say he would not be coming. Hours later, Simon reported Quinton missing and allegedly told cops that his biological father had taken him—but police have said that’s not true.

The sitter has been outspoken about the situation and told reporters that she had filed complaints about Quinton and his siblings with child-welfare authorities—though that has not been confirmed.

On Monday, police said the search for the little boy was also now a “criminal investigation.” And on Tuesday, they said they believe evidence collected would lead to a break in the case.

With the help of 40 FBI personnel, investigators this week searched the Savannah home where Quinton lived with Howell, and where Simon and her boyfriend were also living despite an eviction petition from Howell.

In an interview with WJCL last week, Howell did not defend her daughter.

“Sometimes she does really great, sometimes she doesn’t,” she said at the time. “I don’t know what to think right now. I don’t know what to believe, because I don’t think anybody ever believes this is going to happen to them.”

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