Crime

Dad charged with murder 15 months after daughter’s body found in Centreville garage

Parents of girl found dead in garage charged with concealing a homicidal death

Parents of girl found dead in garage charged with concealing a homicidal death.
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Parents of girl found dead in garage charged with concealing a homicidal death.

A Las Vegas man already charged with concealing the homicidal death of his daughter, a 6-year-old girl whose decomposed body was found in a Centreville garage in early June 2017, was charged Thursday with first-degree murder in St. Clair County.

Jason Quate is accused of killing his daughter, Alysha Quate, when he inflicted a traumatic brain injury in March 2014. His wife, Elizabeth Quate, faces one charge of concealing Alysha’s death.

“Sometimes in investigations, time is not on your side, but because the defendant is in custody, time was on our side and allowed investigators to be very deliberate at moving the forensics forward and ensuring it is as strong a a case as possible,” St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly said Thursday, who confirmed the 35-year-old father was in custody in Nevada.

The 2017 case began when Elizabeth Quate went to a Las Vegas women’s shelter June 5 and told authorities her husband had been prostituting her. She told Las Vegas police they could find the body of her 6-year-old daughter in a detached garage in Centreville.

Local police found the girl’s body in the garage the morning of June 6, 2017.

Kelly said on Thursday that Alysha Quate’s body was buried at Robinson Cemetery in Pocahontas.

Shortly after the child’s body was found, Elizabeth Quate was taken into custody in Las Vegas on a fugitive warrant from an unrelated forgery case out of St. Clair County.

Quates
Elizabeth and Jason Quate AP

Police believe Alysha Quate died in a home on Lebanon Avenue in Belleville before her body was hidden in Centreville. Her autopsy in St. Louis was inconclusive, St. Clair County Coroner Calvin Dye Sr. previously told the BND. He added that further tests need to be conducted because the child’s body was so badly decomposed.

Police raided the Quates’ Las Vegas apartment on the same day and found his two surviving daughters — 11 and 13 — pantless, laying on separate mattresses and showing signs of severe abuse and neglect, according to police reports.

The surviving girls were taken to the Southern Nevada Children’s Assessment Center for forensic interviewing in June 2017. Investigators reported they discovered reason to believe Jason Quate had sexually abused the two.

The 35-year-old father has been charged in Nevada in connection to his alleged treatment of those surviving daughters. His charges include five counts of sexual assault against a child younger than 14, one count of committing open or gross lewdness with a child younger than 18, six counts of child abuse and neglect — two alleging severe mental or bodily harm — and 21 counts of lewdness with a child younger than 14.

Additional charges against Quate are in connection to his alleged treatment of Elizabeth Quate and include sex-trafficking an adult, accepting and receiving the earnings of a prostitute and possessing child pornography.

“We will coordinate the timing of the prosecution with our counterparts in Nevada,” Kelly said.

Kelly confirmed on Thursday that the two girls are still in protective services in Nevada.

Elizabeth Quate was being held in the St. Clair County Jail on an $750,000 bail, according to a motion filed last year by a defense lawyer to reduce Elizabeth Quate’s bond. In light of that request, Judge Zina Cruse reduced the bail on Nov. 20 to $30,000.

Elizabeth Quate, originally from the metro-east, was released shortly after when a man from Las Vegas posted her $3,000 cash bond. On her bond sheet, she listed a Greenville address as her residence.

The man, when contacted by the BND, declined to comment.

Elizabeth Quate’s jury trial is scheduled for Oct. 8, according to online court records.

Dana Rieck: 618-239-2642, @ByDanaRieck
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