The City of Mishawaka and Mishawaka High School (MHS) communities are grieving after 17-year-old MHS junior Breana Rouhselang was found murdered on Sunday morning.
MHS Principal Jerome Calderone began Monday’s school day with an emotional statement to the students about the tragedy, dedicating the moment of silence to Rouhselang. Calderone expressed his condolences to the victim’s family and friends and encouraged grieving students to seek the assistance of the grief counselors and chaplains available at the school.
Several banners commemorating Rouhselang were hung in solidarity around MHS. The banners read “Love Letter to Bre” and encourage students and staff to share memories or thoughts. The hashtag “LLB,” meaning Long Live Bre, has gained traction among the affected students and across social media. Students also organized a walk-out in front of the school at 11am on Monday and observed six minutes of silence around the flag to mourn Rouhselang and her unborn child. Principal Calderone supported the memorial and many students participated in the emotional event. At the memorial, Rouhselang’s mother made a statement thanking students and staff for their continued support through this tragedy.
Rouhselang was an active part of the Mishawaka High School community. She participating many different sports including football, cheerleading, and softball. She had aspirations to go to college after high school. Family and friends continue to describe her as bubbly, outgoing, and friendly.
Mishawaka High School released the following statement late Sunday afternoon:
“The Mishawaka High School family suffered a terrible tragedy today. School administrators are working with authorities in the investigation of the death of 17-year-old Breana Rouhselang.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family members and friends who have been affected by this great loss. Our focus now is to offer all of the support possible to our staff and students.
There will be grief counselors available at Mishawaka High School first thing in the morning, and throughout the day. School will be open, and we believe it is best for all students to come and be around those who care for them.”
Rouhselang’s mother had reported her missing early Sunday morning. Her body was found in a dumpster behind Pasquale Rulli's Restaurant on the 400 block of Battell Street. An autopsy confirmed that she was stabbed multiple times and strangled. Rouhselang was six months pregnant. A suspect, 16-year-old Aaron Trejo, was taken into custody on preliminary charges of murder on Sunday. He was formally charged on Monday with the crimes of murder and feticide. He will be tried as an adult. He faces up to 85 years in prison. Authorities say the two knew each other from their mutual involvement on the football team and confirmed that Trejo was father of the Rouhselang’s unborn child. In an interview with St. Joseph County Homocide Detective Gery Mullins, Trejo said “...Breana waited too long to tell [him] about the pregnancy to get an abortion.” Upon further questioning about the pregnancy, Trejo said, “I took action… I took her life.” Trejo pleaded not guilty to the charges and was denied bond. His next court date is set for Dec. 19th. Rouhselang’s visitation has been set for this Sunday from 4pm to 8pm at New Life Baptist Church in Osceola, IN. The funeral will be held at 11am on Monday, Dec. 17.
By:: Editor in Chief Keyanna Rosetto