LAS VEGAS (AP) — A mother and father accused in Illinois of concealing the death of a child whose body was found in the garage of an abandoned St. Louis-area house made separate appearances Monday in different Las Vegas courts.
The child found dead last week in Centreville, Illinois, hasn’t been formally identified, and a cause of death wasn’t immediately determined.
The body was found June 6, after Elizabeth Odell-Quate went to a woman’s shelter in Las Vegas and told police Jason Scott Quate had killed their 6-year-old daughter and hid the body in Centreville, an impoverished town across the Mississippi River from St. Louis.
Jason Quate was arrested the same day.
Police in Illinois believe the girl died in 2013.
Elizabeth Odell-Quate, 35, stood in shackles Monday and told a judge she won’t fight her return in custody to Belleville, Illinois, to face a felony charge of concealing a homicidal death.
Justice of the Peace Eric Goodman said authorities from St. Clair County, Illinois, will have 30 days to fetch her. Odell-Quate hasn’t been charged with a crime in Las Vegas.
In another courtroom, a judge postponed until Friday an arraignment for Jason Quate on felony child abuse charges. Quate wasn’t represented by an attorney.
Prosecutor James Sweetin told Justice of the Peace Joseph Sciscento that additional charges may be added to the case.
Jason Quate, 34, already has been charged with forcing his wife into prostitution, and he’s due in court on Tuesday on a possession of child pornography charge. He is being held without bail at the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas.
His public defender in the prostitution case has said Quate will plead not guilty to felony sex trafficking and living from the earnings of a prostitute.
He’s also facing extradition to Illinois on the concealing a homicide charge, which is punishable by up to five years in prison. Bail for the husband and wife is set at $750,000 each.
Outside court, Sweetin said Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson may seek to consolidate the various cases against Jason Quate and prosecute him in Nevada before sending him to Illinois.
In jailhouse interviews with some media, Jason Quate gave differing accounts about his daughter, Alysha. He refused to be interviewed by The Associated Press.
He told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the girl had food in her mouth and choked to death when he spanked her. He said his wife found the place to hide the body.
He told the Post-Dispatch that he lied when he told KSNV-TV in Las Vegas that his wife had told him she had put the girl up for adoption. He said his wife concocted the adoption story after their daughter died.
The family moved to Las Vegas in January 2016, according to a police report that said Quate described himself to investigators as a stay-at-home dad and acknowledged that his wife worked as a prostitute. He denied that he was her pimp.
Police have said their two other daughters, now in their teens, were never allowed outside their apartment, even to attend school, and that officers observed signs of abuse. The girls have been placed in protective custody.
AP writer Jim Salter in St. Louis contributed to this report.
This story has been corrected to accurately reflect the spelling of the last name of Justice of the Peace Joseph Sciscento.
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