Authorities in St. Clair County announced new developments Friday in the 2013 death of a young girl whose remains were found this week.
The girl’s parents, Jason and Elizabeth Quate, are now both charged with concealing a homicidal death, according to State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly.
In Illinois, the felony charges carry a maximum sentence of two to five years, but Kelly said it could be extended to 10 years for this couple because of their lengthy criminal backgrounds.
Bond has been set at $750,000 for each defendant.
Kelly said additional charges could be filed at a later date. He said based on the advanced decomposition of Alysha Quate’s remains, his office doesn’t have the evidence it needs to support homicide charges.
“The conditions in which the body was found were not ideal, as you might imagine, to the preservation of that body,” Kelly said.
An autopsy was completed Friday, according to St. Clair County Coroner Calvin Dye Sr. But Dye said additional testing will be needed because a cause of death was unable to be determined.
Quate’s remains were located early Tuesday morning inside a detached garage at a vacant home on Russell Ave. in Centreville.
However, Belleville Police believe the girl was killed four years ago in their jurisdiction. On Wednesday, detectives were seen searching a home on Lebanon St. for evidence.
Authorities only became aware of the disturbing discovery after getting a tip from Quate’s mother, Elizabeth, in Las Vegas.
According to Las Vegas Metropolitan Police, Quate went to a women’s shelter late Monday night looking for help. Detectives said she confessed that her husband, Jason, had murdered Alysha and hid the body in a container.
Quate also admitted that her husband had been abusing their two other daughters and forced her into sex trafficking.
Officers later arrested Jason Quate and placed the couple’s daughters into protective custody. Quate is also charged with possession of child pornography, child abuse/neglect and two prostitution/sex trafficking-related charges.
According to his arrest report obtained by Five on Your Side, Elizabeth Quate was reluctant about becoming a prostitute, but was threatened with violence by her husband.
“If you care about your kids, you will do this,” detectives wrote about Jason’s statements to her. He reportedly required her to make at least $200 a night.
Police said Quate worked at the Casino Queen in East St. Louis as a prostitute to save money so the family could move to Nevada to get away from Department of Child and Family Service Investigators.
According to the arrest report, DCFS was notified twice about this family. Officers said one time, a school alerted the agency after seeing Quate inappropriately kiss one of his daughters.
Another time, officers wrote that they noticed bruising one of the girls.
And according to the arrest report, DCFS approached Elizabeth about how the family was under investigation. Officers wrote that this was the reason Jason forced the family to flee the area.
The report makes mention that he used $1,500 in savings to rent a car to drive to Las Vegas.
Detectives wrote that within 20 minutes of the family arriving, Jason scouted out new casinos where Elizabeth was expected to sell herself to men for sex.
According to police, Elizabeth continued to work as a prostitute in the Fremont St. area from January 2016 until this month, earning nearly $4,000.
But officers said that all came to an end this week, when she relied on a friend to seek help at the shelter.
Authorities in St. Clair County are working to extradite Jason and Elizabeth back to the Metro East.