Lightweight boxer Felix Verdejo has been charged in the kidnapping death of his pregnant lover, authorities announced Sunday night.
Verdejo turned himself into federal agents in San Juan after the body of 27-year-old Keishla Rodriguez was found in a Puerto Rico lagoon. Rodriguez had been reported missing two days prior to her body being discovered in the U.S. territory.
The U.S. Attorney's Office announced late Sunday that Verdejo is charged with kidnapping and carjacking resulting in death and with intentionally killing an unborn child, according to the Associated Press. The charges carry a maximum penalty of death.
Grisly allegations against Verdejo
A complaint filed by the FBI accuses Verdejo of abducting Rodriguez, punching her in the face and injecting her via syringe with an unidentified substance bought at a public housing complex. Verdejo then bound her hands and feet with heavy wire, tied her to a heavy block and threw her over a bridge into a lagoon at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, according to the complaint. Officials say that Verdejo then fired multiple shots at her body.
According to the FBI complaint, a person claiming to be an an accomplice contacted them. The person says that Verdejo asked for "his help to terminate the pregnancy." That person says that he helped Verdejo bind Rodriguez and throw her over the bridge.
Rodriguez's body was found Saturday and identified on Sunday via dental records.
Rodriguez's mother says Verdujo had threatened her
Rodriguez's mother Keila Ortiz told reporters that she last heard from her daughter on Thursday when she was on her way to to meet Verdejo at her home to show him the results of a pregnancy test. Verdejo, 27, is married to another woman and has a daughter.
Verdejo, 27, knew Rodriguez from middle school and maintained a relationship with her, according to Rodriguez's parents. Her mother told reporters he had warned her not to have his baby.
“I told her ‘Be careful’ because he had threatened her not to have the baby, that he had his family, that he is a boxer, that he is a public figure,” Ortiz told reporters.
Rodriguez was reported missing when she didn't show up to her job at a pet grooming business on Thursday.
Local authorities identified Verdejo as a person of interest on Friday when it remained a missing persons case. He did not cooperate with the San Juan Criminal Investigation Corps according to local paper El Nuevo Día. The FBI got involved when the case became a kidnapping investigation, according to the report.
Verdego turned himself into authorities hours after Rodriguez's body was identified on Sunday.
Verdejo has a professional record of 27-2 with 17 knockouts. He signed with Top Rank after competing for Puerto Rico at the 2012 Olympics, where he advanced to the quarterfinals.
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