HOUSTON, Mo. - Four people have been charged in the brutal murder of Ally Lee Steinfield, 17, a Southwest Missouri transgender teen who was recently reported missing by family members.


Andrew Vrba and Isis Schauer, both 18, and 24-year-old Briana Calderas were arrested on Thursday and arraigned on Monday in a Texas County courtroom on charges including first-degree murder, armed criminal action and abandonment of a corpse. A fourth person, James Grigsby, 25, was charged on Monday with abandonment of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

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Last week, police discovered Steinfeld’s remains in a burned pile in a bag behind Calderas’ mobile home. The women told authorities that they helped move Steinfield's body outside and burn it after Vrba gouged out the teen's eyes and repeatedly stabbed her, including in the genitals, and later bragged about the murder. 


"We are sickened by the news of transgender Missouri teen Ally Lee Steinfeld," PROMO, Missouri's statewide LGBT advocacy organization, posted on Facebook. "She was found brutally murdered in Houston, Missouri. Rest in ultimate power Ally. Know this, we will never stop fighting for your rights. #SayHerName."


According to the Springfield News-Leader, Steinfield's sister Ashleigh Boswell, who referred to the victim as "Joey", said Steinfield talked to the family about being transgender and possibly having gender-reassignment surgery one day.


Boswell said Steinfield was "a very loving, outgoing person" who "didn't like conflict whatsoever."


When asked if the family thought Steinfield's gender identity might have been a factor in the killing, Boswell said they didn't know.


"Horrified by the brutal, twisted murder of Ally Lee Steinfeld, a trans teen here in Missouri," Pride St. Louis also posted on Facebook. "We are sickened and angered by this attack on the trans community. We will continue fighting for trans rights each and every day. Rest in Power, Ally. #SayHerName #TransLivesMatter."


Steinfeld’s death is reportedly the 21st known case of a trans person killed in the United States this year and the second in Missouri in as many months.

 

Editor's note: Multiple media reports continue to dead name and misgender Steinfield who preferred she/her pronouns.

 

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