Félix Verdejo- a name not very familiar for the majority of the global boxing fandom, but the Puerto Rican boxer has been making the headlines after his name has been linked with the death of a pregnant woman.
On 30th April, Olympian Félix Verdejo (27-2, 17KOs) was identified by the federal authorities as the prime suspect behind the disappearance of Keishla Marlen Rodriguez Ortiz, a 27-year-old woman who was having a relationship with the boxer.
Verdejo drugged and threw off his alleged girlfriend’s body over a bridge
On 2nd May, the dead body of Rodríguez was found by the police in a lagoon in San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico and was identified by dental records, according to Puerto Rico’s Institute of Forensic Science. Just hours after the woman’s body was found, Verdejo turned himself over to the police.
Multiple charges have been laid on the pugilist over the death of Rodriguez. As per a criminal complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, Verdejo is charged with kidnapping resulting in death, carjacking resulting in death and killing of an unborn child, with a maximum penalty of death.
According to video evidence as well as the complaint filed by the FBI, the boxer is alleged to have physically assaulted Rodriguez, injected her with an unidentified substance, bound her arms and feet, tied her to a heavy cinder block, and threw her off a toll bridge near the lagoon around 8.30 am on Thursday.
The complaint further adds that Verdejo shot at the woman from the bridge and the abduction and murder were done with the help of an unidentified witness who posses the alleged first-hand knowledge of the entire scenario.
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As claimed by Rodriguez’s family, Verdejo was involved in a lengthy affair with the woman, who was one month into pregnancy. The complaint further states that Verdejo was made aware of Rodriguez’s pregnancy and the boxer repeatedly pushed the woman to get an abortion.
Phone records showed Rodriguez was contacted by her boyfriend on Thursday, two days before she was last seen driving her 2016 Kia Forte, to meet near her residence. After entering Verdejo’s black Dodge Durango SUV, Rodriguez was punched in the face before being drugged and thrown from the bridge with assistance from the first-hand witness.
“Based on the above facts, the undersigned affiant believes there is probable cause to charge Felix Verdejo Sanchez with violating the following Federal law,” FBI Special Agent Lorenzo Villanova Perez stated, “Title 18 United States Code, Sections 2119(3) (carjacking resulting in death), 1201 (kidnapping resulting in death), 1841 (intentionally killing unborn child).” (H/T BoxingScene)
Before turning professional in 2012, Verdejo represented Puerto Rico at the 2012 Rio Olympics where he lost to Vasyl Lomachenko 14-9 in the quarterfinals. A Panamerican Youth Champion, Verdejo won the WBO Latino lightweight belt in 2015 and marked six consecutive title defenses. He was last seen in action contesting for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental lightweight title in December last year when he lost to Masayoshi Nakatani via 9th round TKO.