Jason Quate, the father of a girl whose remains were found in a garage four years after her death has been arrested. In a jailhouse interview, he claims that he is not the monster his wife is making him out to be. When asked about the death of Alysha Quate, the father of three claims it was an accident. As for Alysha’s siblings, they were found in “frail” condition and could barely walk on their own.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jason Quate claims Alysha choked to death. He says the children kept food in their mouths after mealtime. One day, the toddler, who would be 6 if she lived, fell off the bed while playing with her sister and “lightly bumped her head.” He went to spank Alysha, unaware that she had Salisbury steak in her mouth and that is how she choked to death. Afraid that authorities would take the other two children, who are now 11 and 13, Jason said his wife, Elizabeth Quate, hid the body. That was approximately four years ago and the little girl’s remains have been decomposing in a garage ever since.
However, his wife has a different story, according to Inside Edition. After seeking refuge at a Las Vegas woman’s shelter, the woman told authorities that her 34-year-old husband murdered Alysha Quate and it was him that put the little girl’s body in the garage. She gave police the address where the body was hidden. St. Clair County authorities went to investigate and found the dead body.
Jason’s wife also claimed that after Alysha’s murder, she was forced into prostitution by her husband. That is what initially led to Quate’s arrest in Clark County, Nevada. He is facing charges of sex trafficking of an adult and accepting earnings of a prostitute, which are both felonies.
“I’m not the monster she’s making me out to be.”
Jason Quate said in the jailhouse interview that for three nights, he stayed with his dead daughter’s body on the dining room floor. He claims he was in shock and couldn’t believe what had happened. Then, he said his wife put the little girl’s body in a tote with some lime. The body would remain in the kitchen for quite some time.
In January 2016, the school contacted the Quate family. They were concerned with how Jason kissed his children when dropping them off. Illinois Division of Children and Family Services paid a visit to the residence. Jason and his wife panicked and told investigators that the children were not home. They said they would return the next day, which prompted the family to flee to a hotel in Caseyville. That is where they hid out for more than a week.
Regarding forcing his wife to work as a prostitute, Jason claims it was his wife’s idea. He also said it was his wife who found the Centreville garage and decided that is where they would dispose of Alysha’s body.
“She was looking for a good place to hide the body. And that’s the house she found.”
A former neighbor of the Quate’s said that the wife had a hot temper. Following the murder of Alysha, the parents began homeschooling their other two children. When authorities would come to do welfare checks on the children, the neighbor claims the mother would not let them come in.
“She told them, ‘I’m homeschooling them, and there’s nothing you can do about it.’”
Another neighbor recalls seeing the family in their backyard in the middle of the night. At one point, the family moved to an apartment complex and one of the tenants recalls hearing frequent screaming. It was also stated that it sounded like somebody was being thrown against the wall. However, the tenant could not recall ever seeing Quate’s children during their time at the apartment complex.
Saint Clair Co States Attorney Kelly announces charges against Jason and Elizabeth Quate in concealment of the homicide of their daughter. pic.twitter.com/EKPojNRwGL— David Mueth (@DavidMueth) June 9, 2017
After law enforcement found Alysha Quate’s body, they entered the family’s current home. Lt. Raymond Spencer said it was a disturbing scene. The two children had scars and bruises on their bodies. They were so frail that they could barely walk on their own. One of the children had clumps of hair falling out. The house was also filled with so many gnats that police had to wear masks.
“I can tell you, there was no homeschooling going on in that house.”
Alysha Quate’s grandparents spoke to the Bellville News-Democrat. On Tuesday, Elizabeth called them to inform them that their youngest granddaughter died four years ago. The mother claimed that she arrived home and found her little girl on the floor. Then, she said she tried to revive Alysha for over an hour.
“He killed Alysha. She was eating and he hit her, and she choked on food. And she was on the floor convulsing and shaking.”
Dan O’Dell, Alysha’s grandfather, recalled memories of the little girl he cherished.
“It was just beautiful innocence. She was picking dandelions and chasing butterflies. Now it’s all gone. And you can’t help but wonder if there was more you could have done to save her.”
For more than three years, the O’Dell’s tried to visit and contact Alysha. However, they were always given an excuse.
“We were always told when we showed up that she was sleeping or was at a party or somewhere. She was never there. We never believed it.”
Since Elizabeth and Jason Quate are telling different stories, who is being truthful? Dan thinks Jason is the one who killed the toddler. He claims that Jason would make the grandparents give up money if they wanted to see Elizabeth or the children. One day, they put a stop to it.
“He held them hostage to get us to come down and pay the electric bill or whatever he wanted. We were giving them $700 to $800 a month. We just couldn’t keep doing that.”
At first, the couple didn’t want to come forward to speak to the media about Alysha’s death. However, when they discovered the things that Jason was telling reporters about Elizabeth, that is when they wanted to get their story out.
Alysha Quate’s sisters have been taken into protective custody. According to David Mueth on Twitter, Jason and Elizabeth have been charged with concealment of a homicide.
[Featured Image by John Locher/AP Images]