We are learning more about the North Adams woman whose husband confessed to police that he killed her earlier this month, but pleaded not guilty to murder charges in court yesterday.
Christa Steele-Knudslien is reportedly the first transgender woman to be killed this year.
A police report details the moment that lead up to Christa's death. Her husband came to the Adams Police Department, spoke to an officer, reportedly saying he had done something and deserved to be in handcuffs.
Christa Steele-Knudslien, the founder of the Miss Trans America pageant, was found stabbed and beaten to death inside the North Adams home she shared with her husband.
Today, flowers have been placed outside the home.
"It's just too much of a shock to me to see this happen and how she got killed," said Crystal Rash, a competitor in the Miss Trans America pageant.
Rash has known Christa for eight years, competing in the trans pageant and remembers meeting Mark, Christa's husband, and seeing their photos on social media.
"To see a brutal murder like this happen and the guy pleaded innocent, I can't believe this," Rash noted.
In police documents obtained by Western Mass News, Christa's husband, Mark, went to the Adams Police Department on January 5, where he said they two had been arguing when Mark confessed to police that he then "struck Christa in the back of the head numerous times with a hammer and then stuck a knife in her back."
He went on to say after killing Christa Steele Knudslien, cleaned up, took a shower, and went to the liquor store to buy alcohol.
North Adams Police searched the couple's home and found Christa's body and evidence.
Those who knew Christa said that her presence will be felt in a community that she contributed to so much.
"If there is a heaven, I pray to God the angels are watching over her and bring her up to heaven," Rash noted.
Mark Steele-Knudslien is being held without the right to bail. His next court appearance is in early February.
A GoFundMe page has been created to help with Christa Steele-Knudslien's funeral expenses. You can CLICK HERE for more information.
Help is available for members of the LGBTQ community dealing with abuse or violence. The Trans Lifeline is available by calling (877) 565-8860 or the Elizabeth Freeman Center's 24 hour hotline can be reached at (866) 401-2425.