An Indiana high school football player has been arrested in the killing of a schoolmate who told him she was pregnant with his child and that it was too late to get an abortion, authorities said.
Aaron Trejo, 16, allegedly told investigators Sunday that he killed 17-year-old Breana Rouhselang, according to a probable cause affidavit filed against Trejo.
InsideEdition.com is naming Trejo because he is being tried as an adult.
Police said they had been called by Rouhselang’s mother about 4:30 a.m. Sunday, saying her daughter, who was six months pregnant, went outside the night before to speak with the father of her unborn baby in the alley behind her home and never returned.
Rouhselang had gone outside about 11 p.m. Saturday and when her mother, who had fallen asleep while her daughter was outside, woke at 1 a.m. Sunday to find her daughter not at the house, she drove to Trejo’s home to ask where she was, police said.
But Trejo allegedly told Rouhselang’s mother that her daughter hadn’t been outside when he got there, and that he had lost his cellphone so she could not call him back later. After checking with other friends, Rouhselang’s mother called the cops.
Police said Trejo told them he hadn’t seen Rouhselang that night, and they returned to the spot where the pair were supposed to meet, the affidavit said.
Investigators found glasses and a stocking cap that matched Rouhselang’s belongings behind her home, and blood was found on the hat and in the area, according to the affidavit. Authorities eventually found Rouhselang’s body in a dumpster behind a nearby business. A black plastic garbage bag had been placed over her head and upper torso, the affidavit said.
In another interview with Trejo, he allegedly said he had reached out to Rouhselang for the first time in months to see how she was doing with the pregnancy, but that she didn’t show up for the meeting. But when told the evidence didn’t support his story, Trejo allegedly admitted he and Rouhselang had fought about the pregnancy.
Police said Trejo told them that Rouhselang waited too long to tell him she was pregnant and that by the time he knew, it was too late to get an abortion.
When he was asked what he did about that, Trejo allegedly said: “I took action … I took her life.”
Trejo allegedly admitted to stabbing Rouhselang in the heart with a knife he brought from home. He then allegedly put the plastic bag, which he also had brought, over her body before dumping it into a dumpster. Police said he noted he had been planning and thinking about killing Rouhselang and the fetus for about a week and had not told anyone.
After allegedly dumping Rouhselang’s body, Trejo walked to the river and threw her phone and his knife as far out into the water as he could, officials said.
An autopsy confirmed Rouhselang died from multiple stab wounds and that her scarf had been tied so tightly that she was being also strangled as she was killed, the affidavit said.
Trejo was charged Monday as an adult with murder and feticide, knowingly or intentionally terminating a human pregnancy, in St. Joseph County Superior Court.
He and Rouhselang both attended Mishawaka High School. She was a cheerleader and a softball player, as well as a manager for the football team, and was remembered as a loving and lively girl.
“This is such a hard tragedy to accept!” a GoFundMe page created by friends of Rouhselang’s family noted. “No one can ever be prepared for a loss like this.”
Counselors were made available at the high school Monday for students grieving the loss of Rouhselang.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family members and friends who have been affected by this great loss,” a statement on the school’s website said. “Our focus now is to offer all the support possible to our staff and students.”
On Monday, about 200 students at the school left class and observed a moment of silence in Rouhselang’s honor.
If found guilty of the charges he faces, Trejo could be sentenced up to 65 years in prison for murder and about 16 years for feticide. He is due in court on Tuesday.