Warning: Extremely disturbing details of the crime below.
Authorities have charged four people in connection to the grisly murder of 17-year-old Ally Steinfeld (below), whose remains 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.
Andrew Vrba, and his girlfriend, Isis Schauer, both 18-year-old Houston residents, have been charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, and abandonment of a corpse. Briana Calderas, 24, of Cabool, is charged with first-degree murder and abandonment of a corpse. (Steinfeld — who came out as transgender in May — was dating and living with Calderas. The 18-year-old suspects also lived in Calderas’ home, Steinfeld’s mother said.)
James Grigsby, 25, of Houston, Missouri, has also been charged with abandonment of a corpse and tampering with evidence in the death of Joseph. Grigsby is being held without bond.
Shauer and Calderas have told authorities that Vrba gouged out Steinfeld’s eyes, repeatedly stabbed [her] in the genitals, and later bragged about the killing.
Texas County Prosecutor Parke Stevens Jr. said the investigation is ongoing.
“It is a grisly terrible series of heinous acts by the accused,” Stevens said.
Ally’s sister Ashleigh Boswell told Springfield News-Leader:
“We honestly don’t understand why they done it. It just don’t make any sense.”
Boswell said [Ally} was “a very loving, outgoing person” who “didn’t like conflict whatsoever.”
When asked if the family thought [Ally’s]’s gender identity might have been a factor in the alleged killing, Boswell said they didn’t know.
If you’ve been following this story, you may recall earlier in the week Missouri authorities investigating the murder were not considering it a hate crime.
I’m sorry, WHAT?
HuffPo points out:
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.