The moment someone discovers they are going to be a parent is life-changing. However, for some people, parenthood is not always a welcome change.
When an Indiana teenager discovered that he was about to become a father, all of his hopes and dreams for what his future was supposed to be came crashing down. Instead of accepting responsibility for what happened, however, he decided to take drastic action…
A Typical Teenager
According to a family in Mishawaka, Indiana, 17-year-old Breana Rouhselang was a normal teenager who was obsessed with sports, had a ton of friends, and was an incredibly kind and loving person. She devoted almost all of her free time to her school’s athletic teams.
Breana grew up playing sports like softball and volleyball and had been a cheerleader since she was a little girl. While in high school, she also started coaching softball and was the football team manager at her school, Mishawaka High School. “She was very caring and loving,” Breana’s stepmother, Nicole Rouhselang, told The Daily Beast. “She would love a fly. She was a lover of animals. She was an athlete. She played softball from the moment she could walk. She was a cheerleader from the time she was little, all the way until this year.”
Breana’s father, Dave Rouhselang, described his sports-obsessed 17-year-old daughter as “the most caring, innocent person you could ever meet.” According to Dave, Breana was “never a mean person. Never an angry person. One of the nicest, most genuine kids.”
According to Nicole, who had known Breana since she was just six years old, Breana had talked about wanting to go to college after finishing high school. The 17-year-old dreamed of studying either athletic training or sports management while in college to make a career out of her love of sports.
“We’re all big Notre Dame fans,” Nicole explained. “We always have Notre Dame in the back of our head, but you have to have a super high GPA average.” While Breana dreamed of attending Notre Dame, she was realistically considering applying to Saint Mary’s College, which is just a few miles from Notre Dame’s campus.
However, in the months leading up to December of 2018, Breana’s grades started to drop. While Breana had normally earned good grades, her parents weren’t overly concerned since they hadn’t noticed any other changes in her behavior. She still seemed to be happy and sweet like she normally was.
A Massive Secret
No one in her family realized it at the time, but Breana had been keeping a huge secret from everyone. The 17-year-old former cheerleader had fallen pregnant. By December of 2018, she was already six months along yet had managed to hide it from everyone in her life.
According to authorities, the only person who knew about the baby was 16-year-old Aaron Trejo, the alleged father-to-be. Trejo was a varsity football player on Mishawaka High School’s football team and got to know Breana after she became the team’s manager.
At about midnight on Saturday, December 8, 2018, the pair agreed to meet up to talk about the pregnancy in an alley outside Breana’s house. That night, Breana told her mother that she was going outside to talk to a friend around 11 pm. According to Breana’s mother, she ended up falling asleep shortly after Breana went outside.
A Mother’s Worst Nightmare
When Breana’s mom woke up at about one in the morning, she got up to check on her 17-year-old. When she failed to find Breana anywhere in the house, she started to get worried. At that point, Breana wasn’t answering her phone, so her mother decided to go out looking for her.
The Search Begins
The worried mom went straight to Trejo’s house, which was just a few blocks away. Trejo told Breana’s mother that they were supposed to meet up, but that when he went to the house earlier that night Breana wasn’t there. After waiting a little while, he claimed he just went home.
A Mother’s Intuition
According to Lt. Alex Arendt of the St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit, Breana’s mother started to get the feeling that something was seriously wrong. “Breana’s mother continued to look for her and call her friends,” Lt. Arendt told the Associated Press.
A Missing Person Report
At that point, Breana’s mother called the police to report the 17-year-old as missing. Officers were immediately dispatched and went first to Trejo’s house to speak with the teen. “Aaron Trejo again stated that he had gone to meet Breana but she did not show up,” an affidavit states.
Retracing Breana’s Steps
Officers then went to the alley behind Breana’s home where the two teenagers were supposed to meet several hours before. When they arrived at the alley at around 4:30 in the morning, officers discovered glasses and a stocking cap covered in blood that matched a description given by Breana’s mother.
A Sickening Discovery
Authorities immediately sealed off a perimeter and quickly found more blood. Soon enough, they discovered Breana’s body, which had been partially covered in a black garbage bag and stuffed in a dumpster in the alleyway. Officers then brought Trejo and his parents into custody and began questioning.
The Truth Is Finally Revealed
He stuck to his original story at first but added that he had gone to talk to Breana about the pregnancy. Trejo also added that neither he nor Breana wanted the baby. When investigators pressed and told Trejo they believed he wasn’t telling them everything, he finally admitted everything.
In his confession, Trejo admitted to stabbing Breana in the heart with a knife he brought from home after they got into a fight. He then hid Breana’s body in the dumpster and went to a river and through the knife and Breana’s phone into the water. Trejo also admitted that he had been thinking about killing Breana and the baby for about a week before the attack.
During his confession, Trejo claimed that Breana waited too long to tell him about the baby, and by that point, it was too late to get an abortion. “I took action…I took her life,” Trejo told police. Trejo has since been charged with one count of murder and one count of feticide.
A Devastated Parent
“We just don’t even know what to think. We’re in shock. We’re in disbelief. She was a child with a child. There’s no words to express how I feel,” Nicole said. “I just don’t understand it. She was young…too young to have a baby herself,” the stepmother told the South Bend Tribune.
Two Families In Shock
In the wake of the shocking news, Trejo’s family has also spoken out. “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.” According to Patton-Manu, Trejo was one of four siblings in a close family. She described Trejo as a normal boy who liked to play sports and video games. “Nobody knew she was pregnant. Nobody knew anything,” Patton-Mahu said. “This is just a nightmare all the way around. I wish we could wake up.”