Indiana high school football player accused of killing classmate and leaving her body in a dumpster
Susannah Cullinane, CNN
(CNN) — A 16-year-old high school football player is accused of killing a 17-year-old girl and leaving her body in a dumpster in Mishawaka, Indiana, police said.
St. Joseph County Metro Homicide named the victim as Breana Rouhselang, a junior at Mishawaka High School. The 16-year-old accused of killing her was on the school’s football team.
Assistant Commander Lt. Alex Arendt told reporters that Rouhselang’s family had contacted the Mishawaka Police Department about 4:30 a.m. Sunday to report her missing after last seeing her at home around midnight.
“Upon their arrival and a search of the area they found evidence of a possible violent crime,” Arendt said.
Police continued to search the area for her and ultimately found her body in a dumpster behind a business, Arendt said.
“It was a location of opportunity to try to hide the victim, I would assume,” he said.
Deputy Prosecutor Chris Fronk said the suspect had been preliminary charged with murder, and would be formally charged as an adult Monday.
Charges to be filed Monday
The Metro Homicide unit was called in to investigate and the 16-year-old was interviewed in connection with the crime, he said.
“At the end of this interview the decision for a preliminary charge of murder was made and he was ultimately transported to the St. Joseph County Jail.”
Arendt said that the victim and her alleged killer knew each other through their school football team and lived about seven blocks from each other.
“They do know each other through the high school. As far as the exact relationship, that is something that is still part of the investigation and when we can release further on that we will do so,” Arendt said.
He said an autopsy would be conducted in the coming days.
Community offers condolences
CNN affiliate WNDU reported that Rouhselang had been a cheerleader and softball player at Mishawaka High School. WNDU said her body was found behind Pasquale Rulli’s restaurant.
“Our condolences to the families involved in the tragedy that took place by our restaurant overnight. The Rulli family are upset that this took place in our neighborhood and are saddened for our Mishawaka city,” the restaurant wrote on Facebook.
Mishawaka High School released a statement Sunday afternoon on Rouhselang’s death, saying it was a terrible tragedy.
“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,” the school said.
The school said it would be open Monday morning, with grief counselors available to students.