Professional boxer Félix Verdejo arrives in a Puerto Rican court on May 3, 2021 for his alleged participation in the crime of Keshla Rodríguez Ortiz, a woman pregnant with him.
(Credit: New Day / PR)
(CNN Spanish) -
(CNN Spanish) -
The professional boxer Félix Verdejo surrendered to federal authorities this Sunday after an arrest warrant was issued against him for the death of Keishla Rodríguez Ortiz, according to the Federal District Attorney of Puerto Rico.
The woman's body was found on Saturday floating in the San José lagoon in the municipality of San Juan, in northern Puerto Rico.
According to documents presented to the Puerto Rico district court, there is sufficient evidence to press charges against Verdejo for kidnapping that resulted in death, theft of a car that resulted in death, and intentionally killing an unborn child.
According to the authorities, the legal penalties for violations of the carjacking and carjacking statutes include life imprisonment or the death penalty, as well as life imprisonment for the intentional murder of a fetus.
CNN tried to get a reaction from lawyer José Fernando Irizarry, Verdejo's legal representative, but so far no response has been received.
File photo. Félix Verdejo Sánchez, boxer from Puerto Rico, during the London Olympics in August 2012. (Credit: JACK GUEZ / AFP / GettyImages)
Félix Verdejo Sánchez, boxer from Puerto Rico, during the London Olympics in August 2012. (Credit: JACK GUEZ / AFP / GettyImages)
In the complaint against Verdejo, the FBI indicates that they have the cooperation of a person named as a witness with knowledge of the events surrounding the death of the victim and who has provided corroborated information related to his disappearance.
The witness told the FBI that on April 27, Verdejo contacted him and requested his help to end the pregnancy of the victim, who had told Verdejo that she was pregnant.
The complaint explains that, on April 29, Verdejo contacted the victim and agreed to meet her near her residence.
Verdejo and the witness arrived at the meeting in a black Dodge Durango vehicle.
The victim arrived at the meeting in his vehicle, which was a gray Kia Forte model.
Then he got into Verdejo's vehicle.
The complaint explains that after the conversation between Verdejo and the victim in the boxer's vehicle, the man allegedly hit him in the face and injected him with a syringe full of substances bought at a drug store in San Juan.
Later, Verdejo and the witness drove the vehicles to the Teodoro Moscoso bridge in San Juan.
There, the victim was allegedly removed from Verdejo's vehicle and thrown over one side of the bridge into the San José lagoon.
Verdejo shot the victim with a pistol from the bridge, according to authorities.
In this case, the FBI and the US Attorney's Offices worked in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Police Bureau and the Puerto Rico Department of Justice.
"We will continue working to end gender violence and offer our deepest condolences to the family of the victim," said W. Stephen Muldrow, Chief of the United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.
The governor of Puerto Rico speaks
For his part, Pedro Pierluisi, governor of Puerto Rico, said that "there should be no doubt that we are in a state of emergency due to gender violence."
In January, Pierluisi signed a decree in which a state of emergency was declared in the face of this problem.
The decree seeks to improve "protection, prevention and guidance against gender violence and to establish programs to support the victims."
Top Rank shows support for Keishla Rodríguez's family
Boxing promoter Top Rank, which ran Verdejo's professional career, expressed support for Keishla Rodríguez's family.
The company shared an official statement on Twitter and stated: "Top Rank's thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Keshla Rodríguez Ortiz, and with the entire Puerto Rican people at this time of mourning."