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Grandmother of deceased Georgia toddler Quinton Simon is arrested

Billie Jo Betterton was arrested two weeks after the FBI’s Atlanta division identified remains in the Superior Landfill in Savannah as those of her toddler grandson through DNA analysis.

The grandmother of the deceased Georgia toddler Quinton Simon — whose remains were found in a Savannah landfill last month and whose mother was arrested and charged with his death — has been arrested, according to online records and NBC affiliate WSAV of Savannah.

The arrest of Billie Jo Betterton, 45, is not related to her grandson’s death, WSAV reported. The nature of the charge against her was not clear in online records from the Chatham County Sheriff's Office.

No bond was set, according to the online records. It was not immediately clear whether Betterton has retained a lawyer, said a spokesperson for the Chatham County District Attorney’s Office, who added that the investigation continues.

Betterton’s mug shot shows her wearing a suicide prevention smock, Parla Parker, the public information officer for the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, confirmed. Parker declined to elaborate, citing federal privacy requirements that protect inmates’ health information.

Parker directed additional questions about the arrest to Chatham County Juvenile Court. Officials with the juvenile court could not immediately be reached for comment, and court records related to the arrest were not immediately available online.

A spokesperson for the Chatham County Police Department said the department was not involved in making the arrest.

Betterton was arrested two weeks after the FBI's Atlanta division identified remains in the Superior Landfill in Savannah as those of her toddler grandson through DNA analysis after the remains were found on Nov. 18. Quinton's cause of death has not been determined, the Chatham County Coroner's Office said.

Quinton’s mother, Leilani Simon, 22, was arrested Nov. 21 and charged with malice murder, concealing the death of another person, false reporting and making false statements. Her next hearing is set for Jan. 11, court records show.

Police previously said they did not expect to make any other arrests in the case. 

Quinton Simon.
Quinton Simon.Chatham County Police Dept.

Court records show that Betterton, who also goes by the last name Howell, sought to evict Simon, her boyfriend and her kids from her home in September.

“Not looking to be compensated. Just want them to move out as quick as possible,” Betterton wrote in the Sept. 8 filing. “They have damaged my property and at this point no one is living in peace.”

The notice was served to Simon and her boyfriend a little over a week later, records show.

Quinton’s mother reported him missing on Oct. 5 from his home in an unincorporated part of Chatham County near Savannah.

The search drew widespread attention and a large law enforcement response — including more than 40 FBI agents — who spent 30 days sifting through 1.2 million pounds of trash, officials said.

A week after Quinton disappeared, officials said that they believed he was dead and that they considered his mother to be “the prime suspect in his disappearance and death.” Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley said investigators had evidence that prompted the search of the landfill; they declined to say what it was.

Betterton was arrested more than a month after both of Quinton’s paternal grandparents died, WSAV reported. Quinton's grandfather Henry Dale Moss Sr., 61, was killed in an alleged hit and run in Burke County, about 95 miles northwest of Savannah, on Nov. 2. NBC affiliate WLBT of Jackson, Mississippi, reported that Moss’s son is Quinton’s father.

A public information officer for the Burke County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday that no updates were available in that case.

WSAV reported that Quinton's grandmother died the week before the alleged hit and run. Further information about her death was not immediately available.