R.I.P Ally Steinfield. born Joseph Matthew Steinfeld Jr
Police have said they do not consider the gruesome murder of a trans teenager to be a hate crime.
Note to readers: This article contains gruesome descriptions of violence. There is also some controversy over the victim’s chosen pronouns and name. For the purposes of this article, and as she appeared to identify as female at the time of her death, we are using her female name and pronouns.
The mutilated body of Ally Steinfeld was discovered near a mobile home in Texas County, Missouri.
She was just 17. Authorities identified the remains as those of Joseph Matthew Steinfeld Jr. — Ally Lee Steinfeld’s birth name. They were found last week in the town of Cabool, near the mobile home of one of the alleged killers, 24-year-old Briana Calderas, with whom Steinfeld was living.
Steinfeld is believed to be the 21st trans person killed since the start of the year.
The mobile home belonged to 24-year-old Brianna Calderas, who was arrested with 18-year-olds Isis Schauer and Andrew Vrba.
Andrew Vbra admitted to repeatedly stabbing Steinfeld, gouging out her eyes and genitals.
The women then helped him wrap her body, take it outside and set it on fire.
After the trio Steinfeld’s body, they placed some of the bones in a garbage bag. This was then stowed in a chicken coop near the house.
Steinfeld’s cellphone and a knife was recovered from the scene.
Three Charged with Murder
All three have been charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, and abandonment of a corpse. Another suspect, James T. Grigsby, was charged today abandonment of a corpse and tampering with evidence.
After she disappeared at the start of the month, Steinfeld’s family began searching for her, using tips from friends and chatter on social media. They, as well the coroner,
Vrba messaged Schauer on Facebook on 3 September, telling her to ‘stick to the story’ and ‘quit talking’.
Authorities have insisted the crime was not motivated by Steinfeld’s gender identity.
‘I would say murder in the first-degree is all that matters,’ Sherriff Parke Stevens said. ‘That is a hate crime in itself.’
However, the Human Rights Campaign are among the advocates fighting for the murder to be considered a hate crime.
‘This violence, often motivated by hatred, must come to an end…
‘We will continue to mourn Ally and fight back against transphobia and anti-trans violence.’