The Indiana teen accused of fatally stabbing a pregnant classmate in the heart on Saturday night is “far from being a monster,” his aunt said this week.
Aaron Trejo, a 16-year-old football player from Mishawaka, entered a not guilty plea in court on Tuesday and is being held without bond. He is being charged as an adult in 17-year-old Breana Rouhselang’s murder. He is also charged with feticide for the killing of Rouhselang’s unborn child. She was six months pregnant.
“This is not him. This is not in his character,” Trejo’s aunt, Alexzaundra Patton-Manu, of California, told the Daily Beast. “Everybody’s still in shock.”
Patton-Manu said that Trejo’s parents never met Rouhselang, who was Mishawaka High School’s football team manager as well as a cheerleader and softball coach. “Nobody knew she was pregnant. Nobody knew anything,” Patton-Manu said.
She said Trejo was a “typical kid,” who “loved sports.” She added that he got a “bad concussion” during football season this fall. “That could have messed with his mind,” she said.
Police found Rouhselang’s body in a dumpster early Sunday morning after her mother reported her missing. Her mother told police she left the house to meet Trejo to talk about the pregnancy and never returned. Trejo initially told police that Rouhselang was supposed to meet him in the alley behind her house but that she never showed up.
Trejo later confessed to cops that he killed Rouhselang because she was pregnant and it was too late for her to get an abortion, according to the Indianapolis Star. He told police he planned the murder for a week.
“I took action … I took her life,” he told investigators, according to a probable cause affidavit. Trejo said he stabbed Rouhselang in the heart “because he thought it would kill [her] quickly.” An autopsy revealed she was stabbed and strangled to death by her scarf. The autopsy also confirmed the pregnancy.
Trejo wrapped Rouhselang’s body in a trash bag and threw her in a dumpster before tossing her cell phone and the knife he used to stab her in the St. Joseph River, he told police.
Rouhselang’s father and stepmother said they are in shock following their daughter’s death. Rouhselang lived with her mother, and her father and stepmother said they had no idea Rouhselang was pregnant.
“We’re just in shock, really. We’re in disbelief that this is going on,” stepmom Nicole Rouhselang told ABC. “I woke up this morning and wanted to send her a text. But, there’d be nobody on the other end.”
Rouhselang’s father, Dave Rouhselang, described his daughter as the “nicest, sweetest, most innocent girl you’d ever meet.”
They said they are seeking justice against their daughter’s alleged killer. “Yes. It needs to be served,” Nicole Rouhselang said.
Trejo’s aunt said following the alleged crime, strangers have been bombarding her family with social media messages.
“I hope your grandson gets the max. 85yrs. Too bad the death penalty won’t happen,” someone wrote on Trejo’s grandmother’s Facebook wall.
Patton-Manu said her family is praying for Roushselang’s family. She also pleaded with people to stop harassing her own family.
“They’re a loving family. All of us go to church. We’re all God-fearing people,” Patton-Manu told the Daily Beast.
“We just want everybody to stop trying to harass everybody in our family. We didn’t do nothing wrong,” she said.
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