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Grandfather Of Missing, Presumed Dead Georgia Toddler Killed In Hit-And-Run

Henry Dale Moss Sr., the paternal grandfather of missing — and presumed dead — Georgia toddler Quinton Simon was killed by a car on Wednesday. Quinton's mother is suspected in his disappearance.

By Megan Carpentier
A police handout of Quinton Simon

In a shocking turn of events, the paternal grandfather of a missing toddler has been killed in a hit-and-run accident.

Police say that Henry Dale "Bubba" Moss Sr., 61, was killed sometime between 5:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, while walking along a state highway near his home in Girard, Georgia — about 35 miles south of Augusta — according to Savannah NBC affiliate WSAV and Augusta CBS affiliate WRDW. Police tell WSAV that they believe Moss had a flat tire and was walking along the roadway back to his home when he was struck by a vehicle that then left the scene.

Deputies discovered Moss' body around 7:30 a.m., lying just off the road.

Moss was the paternal grandfather of Quinton Simon, the 20-month-old boy who was reported missing by his mother, Leilani Simon, 22, from her home in Savannah — just over 100 miles southwest of Girard — on Oct. 5.

RELATED: Mom Suspected In Toddler's Disappearance Says She Hopes He's Found Safe As Landfill Search Continues

Leilani Simon was named a prime suspect in the disappearance and death of her son a week after she reported him missing. Police believe that the little boy's remains were placed in a dumpster and taken to a landfill, which they unsuccessfully searched.

On Wednesday, police admitted that the chances of recovering Quinton's remains were low, NBC News reported.

A police handout of Quinton Simon

"We knew going into this landfill search, the odds of recovering Quinton’s remains were low,” the Chatham County Police Department said in a Twitter thread. “Most landfill searches do not end in a recovery due to many factors including volume of trash to search and compression of the debris, however we stay focused.”

Leilani Simon has denied any involvement in her son's disappearance. She told the 911 dispatcher when she reported him missing that the door to the home was open and he wasn't yet able to open doors on his own.

At the time, Simon and her boyfriend — who was not Quinton's father — were living at the home of her mother, Billie Jo Howell, who had legal custody of Quinton and his two siblings. Howell had initiated proceedings to evict Simon and her boyfriend from the home on Sept. 8, Oxygen.com previously reported. On Sept. 28, Simon was told by the courts to pay $150 in child support to her mother.

She reported him missing a week later.

Her father, Thomas Howell, previously told NewsNation that "she just likes to lie," and her brother told police in September that Leilani allegedly had a history of stealing to support her drug habit, according to WSAV.

Leilani Simon was under probation at the time of Quinton's disappearance, stemming from a conviction for stealing in North Carolina and a burglary conviction in Burke County, where Moss lived, according to WSAV and WRDW. 

In the burglary case, she was accused in 2020 of breaking into a neighbor's camper and stealing a jar with $50 in coins, according to WRDW. She told police that her then-boyfriend — and Quinton Simon's father — Henry Moss Jr., had convinced her to break into the camper and steal the coins for him.

Henry Moss Sr.'s wife — Henry Moss Jr.'s mom — also passed away last week, according to WRDW.