Felix Verdejo, a professional boxer who fought in the 2012 Olympics, has been charged with various crimes connected with the murder of a 27-year-old pregnant woman and her unborn child.
The married 27-year-old boxer surrendered to authorities in Puerto Rico on Sunday evening, approximately 24 hours after Keishla Rodriguez‘s body was discovered in a lagoon.
Officials claim her body was in such poor shape that they had to check her identity using her dental records.
The FBI is working with a witness who appears to have “firsthand, personal knowledge” of the incident because the boxer “requested his help to terminate the pregnancy,” according to officials.
According to the witness, he and Verdejo kidnapped Rodriguez in a black SUV on Thursday evening, where the boxer punched her in the face and injected her with a “syringe loaded with substances.”
Verdejo then reportedly bound the woman’s hands and feet, tied a heavy block to her body, and dropped her into the San Jose Lagoon from the Teodoro Moscoso Bridge.
That’s not all; the witness told authorities. Verdejo then took out a pistol and started shooting at her in what seems to be a last desperate attempt to kill her.
Cell phone data seems to match the witness account, authorities claim, confirming the locations where Rodriguez was traveling before her death.
Officials also claim to have surveillance footage of a dark SUV on the Teodoro Moscoso Bridge, close to the one Verdejo was seen in.
Keila Ortiz, the victim’s mother, told reporters that her daughter had called her before she disappeared on Thursday and told her that Verdejo was going to her house to see the results of a pregnancy test. The victim’s mother asked her to “be careful,” because the boxer had previously threatened her and told her not to have the baby, citing his career and family. Verdejo is married and has a young daughter but had known the victim since middle school and kept in touch with her, her parents said.
Verdejo is now facing a slew of charges, including abduction with the intent to kill, carjacking with the intent to kill, and murdering an unborn child. He could face the death penalty if convicted on all counts.
He was signed by Top Rank Boxing, which released a statement on the situation on Saturday.
“The thoughts and prayers of Top Rank are with the family and friends of Keishla Marlen Rodríguez Ortiz, and with the people of Puerto Rico in this moment of mourning.” They said, “We are profoundly disturbed by the news and will continue to monitor the evolution of the case as it progresses.”