A transgender beauty pageant creator allegedly killed by her husband may be the first known transgender person murdered this year.
Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien was found dead in her Massachusetts home on Jan. 5, according to the Berkshire Eagle. Medical examiners on scene said she was found wrapped in a tarp in the basement with a stab wound to her torso and blunt force trauma to her head.
Her husband Mark Steele-Knudslien pled not guilty to the charge of murder, according to a press release on the Massachusetts government's official website. He is being held without bail and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on Feb. 7.
“Her thing was always that transgender women are beautiful and need a venue for trans women to be seen as beautiful,” her friend Justin Adkins said to the New York Post.
Friends also left messages mourning Steele-Knudslien on her Facebook page.
“Wow I can only take from this lession (sic) in future relationships,”Anita Lynn Galicia wrote. “I thought this was fake and found it to be true. God rest your soul and justice served it's (sic) truth.”
Last year was the deadliest year on record for transgender people, according to PinkNews. LGBT advocacy group GLAAD reported that 26 people were killed in 2017, including seven in the first six weeks of the year.
The previous record of killings was 23, set in 2016.