Puerto Rican boxer Félix Verdejo surrendered to police on charges of killing his pregnant lover after she was found shot in a lagoon.
The 27-year-old turned around within hours after Keishla Rodríguez’s body was found and officially identified.
U.S. prosecutors said late Sunday that Verdejo was charged with kidnapping and carjacking, which resulted in death and willfully killing an unborn child.
A criminal complaint filed by the FBI accused Verdejo of slapping 27-year-old Rodríguez in the face and injecting her with a syringe filled with an unidentified substance purchased from a public housing complex.
Married former boxer Félix Verdejo (left) reported to federal agents Sunday night accused of killing his pregnant lover Keishla Rodríguez (right) after she was found shot in a Puerto Rican lagoon
The FBI has filed a criminal complaint for Verdejo’s actions, accusing him of slapping Rodríguez in the face, injecting her with an unknown substance, tying her to a heavy block, throwing her off a bridge and shooting her
It is alleged that he tied her arms and feet with wire and tied a heavy block to her before throwing her off a bridge at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday.
The complaint says that Verdejo then shot Rodríguez’s body while he was standing on the bridge.
The complaint alleges that an unidentified witness helped Verdejo kidnap and kill Rodríguez.
Rodríguez was found in a lagoon near the capital of the U.S. Territory on Saturday, days after she was reported missing.
She was identified from dental records on Sunday, the Puerto Rico Forensic Institute said in a statement.
Verdejo and his lawyers previously declined to comment, and police said the boxer initially did not cooperate and refused to answer questions.
Rodríguez’s family said they were pregnant with Verdejo’s child.
Keila Ortiz, the victim’s mother, told reporters that her daughter called her before she disappeared Thursday and told her Verdejo would go to her house to see the results of a pregnancy test.
“I told her ‘be careful’ because he had already threatened her,” said Ortiz. She said Verdejo told her daughter not to have the baby and mentioned his career and family.
A criminal complaint filed by the FBI accused Verdejo of slapping Keishla Rodríguez in the face and injecting her with a syringe filled with an unidentified substance purchased in a public housing complex
Rodríguez’s family said they were pregnant with Verdejo’s child and are meeting with him to reveal the news
Félix Verdejo arrives at Police Headquarters in San Juan, Puerto Rico to meet with investigators from the Criminal Investigation Corps. He wasn’t a suspect then
He was later arrested and charged when he went into police service after Rodríguez’s body was officially identified
Verdejo had refused to answer questions about his lover’s disappearance in an interview with police, but was not considered a suspect at the time
Verdejo is married with a young daughter, but has known Rodríguez since high school and kept in touch with her, her parents said.
They reported her missing after she failed to show up for her job at an animal care company.
Verdejo had previously been questioned by police but had refused to answer questions about his lover’s disappearance.
At the time, Police Captain Luis Díaz said Verdejo was not a suspect in Rodríguez’s disappearance.
The police investigated several anonymous calls from Rodríguez’s parents, during which a woman could be heard sobbing in the background.
Officers found a four-door gray Kia Forte that was found abandoned next to a house in Canóvanas Township. It was later identified as Rodríguez’s car.
His wife, Eliz Marie Santiago, also met with the police on Friday evening to ask questions.
Officers found a four-door gray Kia Forte that was found abandoned on property next to a house in Canóvanas Township. It was later identified as Rodríguez’s car
Verdejo had known Rodríguez since middle school and stayed in touch with her, her parents said
Verdejo is married to influencer Eliz Marie Santiago and has a two-year-old daughter with her
Verdejo represented Puerto Rico at the 2012 Olympics, that same year he became a professional boxer competing in the lightweight class (pictured in April 2019).
Verdejo represented Puerto Rico at the 2012 Olympics, that same year he became a professional boxer competing in the lightweight division. But he has not fought since December 12, 2020, when he was eliminated in Las Vegas in a 9th round loss to Masayoshi Nakatani.
Verdejo won his first 23 fights before suffering a TKO loss to Antonio Lozada Torres on March 18, 2018 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
The former WBO Latino lightweight champion rebounded by winning his next four fights, then suffered the setback loss to Nakatani.
The case has outraged many in Puerto Rico, where another woman was recently found burned after filing a domestic violence complaint that a judge dismissed.
A Supreme Court judge has announced an investigation into the decision.
Hundreds of people gathered on Sunday at a bridge that crosses the lagoon where Rodríguez’s body was found to seek justice for her and other women who were killed. Some threw flowers into the water.
The case has outraged many in Puerto Rico, where another woman was recently found burned after filing a domestic violence complaint that a judge dismissed
Hundreds of people gathered on Sunday at a bridge that crosses the lagoon where Rodríguez’s body was found to seek justice for her (her sister Bereliz Nichole pictured).