Investigators found remains believed to belong to a little girl buried in a garage in Illinois.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Clair County police found the remains in an abandoned home after the child’s own mother gave them a tip that a body would be found there.
The woman now lives in Las Vegas, and reportedly sought refuge at a women’s shelter from her abusive husband, who has allegedly forced her into prostitution.
The husband, Jason Quate, has been arrested in Las Vegas and charged with sex trafficking of an adult and accepting or receiving earnings of a prostitute, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Any potential homicide investigation would be handled by St. Clair County law enforcement.
Las Vegas police Lt. Raymond Spencer told the St. Louis-Dispatch that the woman who tipped police to the decomposing remains went to police to report that not only was her husband forcing her into prostitution but abusing two of the children in their home, who were kept in strict isolation.
“I can tell you it was a very disturbing scene, seeing the condition of the children, because you could tell they had obviously had limited outside involvement of the last 18 months to two years,” Spencer said in the videotaped statement.
The woman then claimed that Quate had killed another of their children in 2015, when they were living in . Illinois.
“She told us during the course of that interview that during a physical altercation, one of the children had died as a result of her husband,” Spencer said.
Las Vegas police quickly alerted St. Clair County authorities, and they went to search the property where the woman said a body would be found.
Indeed, investigators found the decomposing body of a child wrapped in blankets in a storage bin in the garage of the abandoned home. The body was packed with cat litter, possibly to mask any odor.
The remains are still pending identification and authorities have not confirmed that it is the child of the woman who tipped police. Further, there are conflicting reports about the age of the child. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch and several others report that the child was six, while other outlets say the child was seven years old.
This is a developing story that will be updated as more information becomes available.
Photo: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department