Police in Illinois found a body buried behind a dilapidated garage and are investigating the discovery as a homicide.
Authorities found the remains after receiving a tip from a woman in Las Vegas who said her husband killed their 6-year-old daughter four years earlier and buried her behind a garage in the rundown Illinois neighborhood. She also told police that her husband, later identified as 34-year-old Jason Quate, was holding their two daughters while forcing her into prostitution, according to WLS-TV.
The woman, who was not identified by police because she is a suspected victim of sex trafficking, went to a nearby women's shelter in Las Vegas to report Quate's abuse of their two daughters and the killing of their 6-year-old in 2013. Police found the body wrapped in blankets after receiving the address from Quate's wife.
Police found the couple's two elder daughters in the Las Vegas area apartment, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The apartment was described to be in disarray, with so many gnats in the air that officers were forced to wear masks. The two daughters were retrieved from the apartment and were reported to have scars and bruises all over their bodies. One of the girls' hair was falling out in clumps.
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Both girls were thin, pale, and small, and required assistance just to walk down to the police cars outside the apartment complex. Las Vegas Police Lt. Raymond Spencer said the girls were not allowed to leave the house or receive schooling for 18 months to two years.
"I can tell you, there was no home schooling going on in that house,” Spencer said.
Quate said he was surprised his wife turned him in to police, saying that last he knew she was going to meet a client for sex. He claimed he never forced her into prostitution and describes himself as a "stay at home dad."
Quate also said they had separated a long time ago but were staying together for the sake of their children. He also said that she may have grown weary of "financially supporting a man and children who did not love her."
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Spencer said he did not know the woman's motive for coming forward, but stated she "clearly felt that her children were in danger."
Quate claimed that his wife told him to lie about their 6-year-old daughter's disappearance in 2013, saying he was instructed to tell people they had found a suitable adoptive family for her. He also claims it was his wife's idea to hide the girl's body after her death. The husband claimed the girl had choked to death and they were afraid police would take their other two daughters away.