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Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien, founder of Miss Trans America and Miss Trans New England, was found dead in Massachusetts this past Friday, January 5. According to GLAAD, she is the first known trans person killed this year in the United States.

Her husband Mark Steele-Knudslien confessed to the murder and turned himself into the North Adams police. North Adams police later found her body in her home, wrapped in a bedding, plastic sheeting and tarp in a basement.

“He stated he killed Christa by striking her numerous times with a hammer and then finally killed her by stabbing her in the back with a large knife,” the police report said. “Steele-Knudslien later wrapped Christa’s body in a tarp and moved her to the basement which is where the body could be found.”

He had told officers he and his wife got into an argument, saying she was “always belittling” him. After the argument, he told police he “snapped” and started slamming Christa in the head with a hammer in their living room. He then stabbed her in the back, took a shower and went to the liquor store to buy alcohol, according to the police account of the interview. When he came back to the house, he wrapped up Christa’s body and the murder weapons in bedding, plastic and tarp and dragged them to the basement.

An autopsy by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner concluded that bleeding out was the ultimate cause of death and her death was ruled a homicide. Steele-Knudslien entered a not guilty plea during his arraignment and is being held in the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail.

In 2017, there were at least 28 transgender people murdered, an uptick since the 23 reported in 2016 according to the Human Rights Campaign. All reported transgender people in 2017 were trans people of color with the exception of Gwynevere River Song and Ally Lee Steinfeld.