‘Far from being a monster’? Aunt defends high school football player accused of killing pregnant cheerleader

The family of the Indiana teen accused of killing his pregnant classmate and putting her body in a dumpster has spoken out for the first time.

Aaron Trejo’s aunt, Alexzaundra Patton-Manu, told The Daily Beast that the family’s “in shock” following allegations that the 16-year-old football player murdered Breana Rouhselang, 17, who was six months pregnant with his child. She claimed Trejo “was always a private person” and that they had “no clue” what was going on with him.

“This is not him. This is not in his character,” his aunt said.

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According to charging documents, Trejo told detectives that he thought about killing Rouhselang a week before stabbing her in the heart with a knife. He allegedly admitted to placing Rouhselang’s body in a plastic bag before placing it into a dumpster and discarding her phone and the murder weapon in the river.

The teen reportedly claimed he was angry that Rouhselang waited too long to get an abortion.

“Aaron acknowledged that he was aware of Breana’s pregnancy and that he was supposed to be the father of the baby,” the report stated. “Aaron stated that neither he nor Breana wanted to have the baby.”

Rouhselang’s mother reported the 17-year-old missing at around midnight on Saturday. Her body was found Sunday morning in a dumpster located a block from her home. Though Trejo initially claimed he planned to meet Rouhselang but she was a no-show, the report said he confessed after investigators asked if they’d been fighting about the pregnancy.

“I took action…I took her life,” the teen allegedly said.

An autopsy determined the pregnant teen died from multiple stab wounds and that her scarf was wrapped around her neck so tight that it’s possible she was being strangled before she died.

Trejo and Rouhselang attended Mishawaka High School together. The South Bend Times reported that Rouhselang was the student manager of the football team and an ex-cheerleader. However, the nature of their relationship remains unclear.

Trejo pleaded not guilty Monday to murder and feticide charges. He’s currently jailed without bond.

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[Featured Image: Aaron Trejo/St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit; Breana Rouhselang/WNDU