FBI joins search for toddler missing from coastal Georgia neighborhood

Quinton Simon  (Chatham County Police Department)

The FBI has joined the search for a toddler reported missing by his mother on Wednesday morning in Chatham County.

The mother of 20-month-old Quinton Simon told officers the boy had been in his playpen before she discovered he was missing, Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley said.

"The boyfriend woke up, saw the child at 6 a.m., the mother woke up at some other time later and then reported the child missing 9:39, I believe the call came in to 911," Chief Hadley said during a press conference Thursday morning.

Hours later the toddler, described as wearing a Sesame Street T-shirt and black pants, still had not been found. Police closed several streets as officers and neighborhood volunteers performed a gridded searched for the child with help from a tracking dog and a helicopter normally used for mosquito control. Mounted patrols were also brought in to assist.

"As of this morning, we have yet to locate him," Chief Hadley said.

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.

Police were obtaining a warrant to conduct a more thorough search of the home and other locations. Investigators were also downloading phone records and interviewing possible witnesses. As of Thursday morning, the investigation was still considered a missing child case and a Levi’s Call, Georgia’s Amber Alert system, was not activated.

"We have not had any evidence to lead us to believe foul play, but everything's on the table," said Chief Hadley. "We have not had anything of substance to lead us to believe that."

The chief said he hopes the FBI’s resources will help them find the young child safe.

Meanwhile, the chief addressed online speculation surrounding the parents.

"At this point, they're victims, you know, they are dealing with the loss of a child. They're worrying and wondering where he may be at," he said. "And so, as any of us, if we were in that position, I would be terrified, having six children of my own, if one of my children were missing, I would be a mess quite frankly."

The chief said anyone with information in the case is asked to call Chatham County Crime Stoppers at 912-234-2020.

The Associated Press contributed to this report