MISHAWAKA, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana high school football player has been arrested in the killing of a 17-year-old pregnant cheerleader whose body was found in a restaurant dumpster, authorities said.
Lt. Alex Arendt of the St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit said the 16-year-old boy, who is on the Mishawaka High School football team, was arrested Sunday in the killing of his schoolmate, Breana Rouhselang. The county prosecutor’s office said the boy was being held on a preliminary murder charge and that formal charges were expected Monday.
Rouhselang was last seen at her home at around midnight Saturday. Her family called police about 4:30 a.m. Sunday after they “got the feeling that something wasn’t right,” Arendt said. He said she knew the boy from the football team, but the extent of the relationship was under investigation.
Her stepmother, Nicole Rouhselang, told reporters Sunday that Breana had been a softball coach, cheerleader and football team manager at the school. She also said her stepdaughter had been about six months pregnant.
“I’ve known her since she was 6,” she said. “I just don’t understand it.”
Police haven’t released details about a possible motive. An autopsy was planned to determine the cause of death.
The school district in Mishawaka, which is next to South Bend and about 80 miles (130 kilometers) east of Chicago, issued a statement Sunday saying administrators were working with authorities in investigating the “terrible tragedy” and that grief counselors would be available at Mishawaka High School on Monday.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family members and friends who have been affected by this great loss,” the statement said.