Families of Slain Pregnant Cheerleader — and Classmate Who Allegedly Murdered Her — Speak Out
The family of an Indiana cheerleader who was allegedly stabbed to death behind her home and the family of the teen footballer accused of killing her are speaking out.
On Sunday, the body of Breana Rouhselang, 17, was found in a dumpster behind a restaurant blocks away from her Mishawaka home, where she was reported missing from hours earlier. She was six months pregnant.
A classmate of hers, Aaron Trejo, 16, was arrested and charged with murder after allegedly confessing to police that he stabbed Breana because she was carrying his unwanted child.
Now, the family of both Breana and her alleged murderer are speaking out, telling the Daily Beast that nothing could’ve prepared them for what occurred.
“We just don’t even know what to think,” Breana’s stepmother, Nicole Rouhselang, told the outlet. “We’re in shock. We’re in disbelief. She was a child with a child. There’s no words to express how I feel.”
Breana was a cheerleader at her Mishawaka high school, where Trejo played football. The pair met through the team, police say, which was described as a “family” by the school district’s superintendent, Dr. A. Dean Speicher, at a news conference earlier this week.
Breana’s father, Dave, said he had never heard of Trejo and when asked if he believes the teen was the father of Breana’s unborn child, answered, “We’ll have a more clear answer on it later but I do believe so. That in my mind is probably the motive behind this.”
In the last few months, Breana’s grades had been slipping, her family said. Still, she seemed like the happy, sweet girl she had always been. Her father, Dave, telling the Daily Beast his daughter was “the most caring, innocent person you could ever meet.”
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The last time Dave saw his daughter was the week before Thanksgiving when he treated her to a birthday party at T.G.I.Friday’s, where he works. Afterward, the family went home and relaxed.
“It was a great day,” Dave recalled. Breana spent her time between the homes of her biological mother and father, who shared custody of her, according to the outlet.
On the night of Breana’s death, at 11 p.m. she told her mother she going behind her home to talk to Aaron, an arrest affidavit, obtained by PEOPLE, alleges.
When she didn’t come back inside, Breana’s mother went to Aaron’s home a few blocks away, but the teen said Breana had never showed up to talk and that he hadn’t seen her.
Worried, Breana’s mother called the police, who interviewed Trejo and later found Breana’s body wrapped in a plastic bag hidden in a dumpster. Trejo allegedly said he stabbed her in the heart with a knife he had brought from home after getting into a fight.
“I took action, I took her life,” he allegedly told police.
“This is not him. This is not in his character,” Trejo’s aunt, Alexzaundra Patton-Manu, told the Daily Beast. “Everybody’s still in shock.”
Patton-Mahu, who lives in California and is Trejo’s maternal aunt, said the teen was one of four siblings in a tight-knit family. He would play video games, play on sports teams and sometimes keep to himself. “Just your typical kid,” she said.
Like Breana’s, nobody in Trejo’s family had heard of the other teen.
“Nobody knew she was pregnant. Nobody knew anything,” Patton-Mahu said, adding that her family was horrified by what had happened.
“This is just a nightmare all the way around,” she said. “I wish we could wake up.”
Breana’s and Trejo’s families could not be reached for comment Thursday. Trejo has pleaded not guilty. His attorney information was not available Thursday.