About 100 people gathered Sunday night at the GLO Center in Springfield to honor the life of Ally Steinfeld, a transgender teen killed last month.
Steinfeld's mutilated and burned remains were found in a chicken coop near Cabool. Three young people have been charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action and abandonment of a corpse. A fourth has been charged with tampering with evidence and abandonment of a corpse.
Krista Moncado, executive director of the GLO Center, said the vigil gave the local community a chance to "mourn the loss of one of our transgender youth."
Moncado said it's also an opportunity for a call to action.
"Specifically, calling out hate speech when you hear it," Moncado said. "Even when it's somebody you love and respect, then it's even more important to be able to call them out and say, 'We don't say those things here.'
"Because our lives depend on it," she continued. "The lives of our LGBTQ family depend on our allies being brave and speaking out."
Mandy Monsees, a transgender woman from Springfield, was among those in attendance.Monsees said she appreciated learning about the loving and accepting relationship Steinfeld had with her parents.
Derrick King sings "The Arms of an Angel" in honor of slain trans teen Ally Steinfeld, who was killed last month, on Oct. 8, 2017. Jackie Rehwald/News-Leader
"Them supporting her for who she was, even though it ended tragically for her, still allowed her to have some happy moments in her life," Monsees said.
A woman from Texas County, where Steinfeld's body was found, also attended the event. She asked her name not be used, but said many folks there are struggling.
She came to the event with the hope of connecting with people from the GLO Center. She would like to create a GLO Center in Mountain Grove.