Boxer, Félix Verdejo turned himself in to federal agents on Sunday night, May 2, just hours after his pregnant lover, Keishla Rodríguez was found dead having been drugged, thrown off a bridge, and shot in the US territory’s capital of San Juan on Saturday.
Keishla Rodríguez Ortiz’s body was found in a lagoon two days after she was reported missing by her family.
A criminal complaint filed by the FBI accuses Verdejo, 27, of punching Rodríguez in the face and injecting her with a syringe filled with a yet to be identified substance.
Investigators allege Verdejo then bound her arms and feet with wire, tied a heavy block to her and threw her off a bridge at 8.30am on Thursday.
Verdejo shot Rodríguez’s body with a pistol as he stood on the bridge, the federal complaint further alleges.
An unnamed witness reportedly helped the boxer kidnap and kill Rodriguez.
She was officially identified via dental records on Sunday, Puerto Rico’s Institute of Forensic Science said in a statement.
Verdejo represented Puerto Rico at the Olympics in 2012, the same year he became a professional boxer competing in the lightweight division. His career was temporarily halted after a 2016 motorcycle accident that put him in the hospital. His record is 27-2, with 17 knockouts.
On Sunday night, Verdejo was officially charged with kidnapping resulting in death, carjacking resulting in death, intentionally killing an unborn child.
Rodríguez’s family said she was pregnant with Verdejo’s child at the time of her murder.
Verdejo is married but had known Rodríguez since middle school and kept in touch with her, Keila Ortíz, the victim’s mother, told reporters.
Ortíz said that her daughter had called her before she vanished Thursday and told her that Verdejo was coming to her house to see the results of a pregnancy test she’d taken.
Ortíz said she warned her daughter to “be careful”, as Verdejo “had already threatened her,” she claimed.
She said Verdejo had told her daughter not to have the baby, citing his career and family.
Verdejo could face the death penalty if convicted, though the US Attorney’s Office said no decision had yet been made as to whether to pursue execution.
According to Ortíz, she reported her daughter missing after she didn’t show up for her job at an animal grooming business.
She said her other daughter was contacted by Rodríguez’s boss, informing her of her absence at work.
“For me, that was super strange because she is very responsible about her job,” she told local media.
Ortíz said she then called Verdejo, who reportedly told her he didn’t know where she was.
“You’re lying to me — that’s the first lie,” Ortíz recalled telling him.
“She talked to me a little while ago, and told me that you were going to her house when you were done working out.”