Belleville Police say the death of a child whose body was found Tuesday in a detached garage in Centreville is being investigated as a homicide.
Belleville Police said they believe the child’s death happened in 2013.
It wasn’t immediately clear why the Belleville Police Department was involved in the investigation. The involvement by Belleville Police would suggest that police believe the child was killed in Belleville.
Belleville Police issued a statement saying they are “working with the Centreville Police Department, Illinois State Police and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department during the initial stages of the investigation. The approximate age, sex, and possible cause of death will not be determined until after the autopsy which is scheduled for later this week.”
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Belleville Police said a “suspect” in the investigation has been identified and was beiong held Wednesday in Las Vegas on unrelated charges. A team of Belleville homicide investigators was scheduled to travel to Las Vegas for the investigation.
St. Clair County authorities received a call Tuesday from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department about a woman who told Las Vegas police where to find her “baby.” The “baby” turned out to be the body.
Centreville Detective Sgt. DeMarius Thomas said Centreville police received a call about 2:20 a.m. from a person who reported that remains may be in a garage at 7201 Russell Ave. The garage was next to a small, vacant, two-bedroom house that was boarded up in places and overgrown with weeds.
Police believe the child was killed in Belleville before being dumped at the Centreville house.
Neighbors said the coroner removed the body on a stretcher about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday from the house, which neighbors said had been vacant for about two years. A tote was also removed from the garage.
The call to police was made by the wife of Jason Quate, 34, who has been charged in Las Vegas with sex trafficking of an adult and accepting or receiving earnings of a prostitute.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that police there said Quate’s wife told police on Monday that she had been sex trafficked by him for the last two years. She also said they had three children and that Quate had killed one of them, a 6-year-old girl, and kept the body in a container in a house.
The family had lived in Centreville but moved to Las Vegas two years ago. Las Vegas police contacted authorities in Illinois and the 6-year-old child’s body was found where Quate’s wife said it would be.
Quate’s wife fled to a woman’s shelter Monday night.
Carolyn P. Smith: 618-239-2503