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Puerto Rican Boxer Allegedly Killed Pregnant Girlfriend

Félix Verdejo turns himself in
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 3, 2021 1:37 AM CDT

(Newser) – Puerto Rican boxer Félix Verdejo turned himself in to federal agents to face federal charges Sunday night just hours after authorities identified the body of a dead woman as his 27-year-old pregnant lover, officials said. The US Attorney's Office said late Sunday that Verdejo was being charged with kidnapping and carjacking resulting in death and with intentionally killing an unborn child, the AP reports. A criminal complaint filed by the FBI accuses Verdejo of punching Keishla Rodríguez in the face and injecting her with a syringe filled with an unidentified substance bought at a public housing complex. It alleges he then bound her arms and feet with wire and tied a heavy block to her before throwing her off a bridge at 8:30am Thursday. The complaint states that Verdejo, who represented Puerto Rico at the Olympics in 2012, then shot at Rodríguez's body as he stood on the bridge.

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The complaint says a witness it did not identify helped Verdejo kidnap and kill Rodríguez. Rodríguez was found in a lagoon near the US territory's capital Saturday, a couple of days after she was reported missing. She was identified Sunday via dental records, Puerto Rico’s Institute of Forensic Science said in a statement. Verdejo and his attorneys previously declined comment, and police said the boxer did not originally cooperate and refused to answer questions. Rodríguez’s family said she was pregnant with Verdejo’s child. Keila Ortiz, the victim’s mother, told reporters that her daughter had called her before she vanished Thursday and told her that Verdejo was going to her house to see the results of a pregnancy test. “I told her, ‘Be careful,’ because he had already threatened her,'' Ortiz said. She said Verdejo had told her daughter not to have the baby, mentioning his career and family; he is married and has a young daughter.

(Read more Puerto Rico stories.)

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