Transgender teen Ally Lee Steinfeld was stabbed in the genitals, had her eyes gouged out, and was burned to a charred crisp. But she was not the victim of a hate crime, say the police and prosecutor.
Steinfeld, 17, was allegedly attacked by her girlfriend and two teenagers in an assault in Cabool, Texas Country, Missouri which left her with her eyes gouged out, court records said.
Steinfeld, who was born as Joseph Matthew Steinfeld, had been missing for a month before investigators found her charred remains in a bag dumped in a chicken coop.
It came weeks after a post on social media site Instagram where she described herself as "mtf", or male-to-female, later adding: "I am proud to be me I am proud to be trans."
But the authorities insisted Steinfeld's murder was not motivated by her sexuality or gender.
Prosecutor Parke Stevens Jr told news agency AP: "I would say murder in the first-degree is all that matters. That is a hate crime in itself."
If all murders are hate crimes, none of them are. If you can thank the Internet for one thing this summer, it's the fact it might force at least a perfunctory prosecution out of this gentleman.