Three people were charged with first-degree murder and a fourth is facing other charges after authorities discovered the burned body of a transgender teen in southern Missouri.
According to the Associated Press, the remains of 17-year-old Ally Steinfeld were discovered in a burn pile near the mobile home of one of the suspects, as well as in a bag inside of a chicken coop.
Two of the women facing first-degree murder charges reportedly told authorities that they helped burn Steinfeld’s body after a man gouged the teen’s eyes out and repeatedly stabbed her in the genitals.
“It is a grisly terrible series of heinous acts by the accused,” Texas County Prosecutor Parke Stevens Jr. told Houston Herald.
Steinfeld’s sister Ashleigh Boswell reportedly said that Steinfeld talked openly about being transgender.
“We honestly don’t understand why they done it,” Boswell told Springfield News-Leader. “It just don’t make any sense.”
Steinfeld’s murder makes her the 21st known transgender person murdered in 2017. Transgender people ― particularly trans people of color ― face disproportionate violence compared to the rest of the LGBTQ community. GLAAD reports that 2016 was the deadliest year on record for the transgender community, with 26 reported murders ― almost entirely transgender women of color.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help Steinfeld’s family with funeral expenses.