A man arrested in Las Vegas could face charges in connection with the child's body found in a detached garage in Centreville, Illinois, Tuesday morning.
According to a press release from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Jason Quate, 34, was arrested after his wife left their home in Las Vegas and fled to a women's shelter. She told police he was sex trafficking her for the last two years and, while living in Illinois, had killed one of their children.
She told police they had lived in Centreville with their three children, whom Quate had abused. She said Quate killed one of their children and left the body in a container in the garage of a Centreville home.
The Las Vegas Police Department contacted St. Clair County authorities, who responded to the 7200 block of Russell where they found the child’s body. The St. Clair County Coroner confirmed the child was dead at 6:55 a.m.
Quate was charged with sex trafficking of an adult and accepting/receiving earnings of a prostitute. He is being held in Clark County Detention Center.
The investigation is ongoing, and Las Vegas detectives are coordinating with the Illinois State Police, who took over the investigation from the
The couple's two other children were taken into protective custody in Las Vegas.
The woman told police to check the garage in Centreville for the body of her daughter, who was 6-years-old in 2013.
Wednesday, Belleville Police officers spent hours searching a home on the 200 block of Lebanon, about 10 miles from where the body was found. Police would not say why they were there, only confirming it is related to the investigation of the child's body found in Centreville. Police removed evidence bags from the home, which was surrounded by crime scene tape. There were also search dogs used.
Belleville Police are currently in Las Vegas.
The autopsy of the body could happen as early as Thursday, but the St. Clair County Coroner is waiting for the arrival of an anthropologist from Florida.
When police arrived Tuesday morning, the home was boarded up. Neighbors said it had been vacant for a couple years.
“Anytime you find remains it’s always treated as a homicide, until that autopsy,” said Centreville Police Sgt. Det. DeMarius Thomas.
Thomas said the child may have died in Belleville, and the body was taken to Centreville.
The autopsy is scheduled for later this week. Police are hopeful it will lead to a positive identification. It is too early to tell what caused the child’s death.
Residents said the family who lived at this home most recently did not associate with anyone in the neighborhood. Jane Brown-Owens, who has lived on the same street for about 40 years, said the neighborhood is tight-knit.
“A few years ago, somebody moved in quickly and before we knew it, they were gone. We didn’t even get to know who they were,” Brown-Owens said. “It’s devastating to me because I love kids. I have my own and I run a home daycare and children are part of my life. For someone to just heartlessly, to put that child in that state, I don’t have the words.”
This is a developing story.