Boxer Felix Verdejo, who was one of Top Rank’s Promotions rising stars, has been charged in the death of Keisha Rodriguez. According to reports, Rodriguez was pregnant with Verdejo’s child although the boxer had been married at the time.
Verdejo (27-2, 17 KOs) is a former Olympian who represented Puerto Rico in 2012 and after Rodriguez’s body went missing, Verdejo wasn’t a suspect at first just a person of interest. Keila Ortiz, who is Rodriguez’s mother, told reporters that she spoke with her daughter before she went missing last Thursday. Ortiz said her daughter told her that Verdejo was coming to her house to see the pregnancy results.
Verdejo had known Rodriguez since middle school, and the two had remained in contact on and off. After Rodriguez failed to show up at work, that’s when she was reported missing.
The FBI arrested Verdejo, whose full name is Felix Verdejo-Sanchez, on Sunday. He was charged “with kidnapping resulting in death, carjacking resulting in death and intentionally killing an unborn child — known as the “Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004.”
A criminal report filed by The FBI said Verdejo punched Rodriguez in the face and injected her with a syringe filled with “an unidentified substance bought at a public housing complex.” The FBI says Verdejo tied Rodriguez’s arms and feet with wire and tied a heavy block to her before throwing her off a bridge at 8:30 a.m. Thursday. FBI officials claimed that Verdejo then shot at Rodriguez’s body as he stood on the bridge. An individual told law enforcement that he assisted Verdejo with kidnapping and killing Rodriguez.
Verdejo, 27, faces life in prison “or the death penalty for the carjacking and kidnapping charges, and life imprisonment for the intentional killing of an unborn child charge.” Verdejo is being held without bail, and Judge Camille Velez said, “This is a death-penalty-eligible case.” Puerto Rico doesn’t have the death penalty; however, that possibility is on the table.
Rodriguez’s death has caused further outrage after another woman’s body was burned to death after she escaped a domestic violence situation. In that case, the judge tossed it out although a Superior Court judge is investigating the dismissal.
Hundreds gathered Sunday at a bridge near where Rodriguez’s body was discovered. Some protesters went to Governor Pedro Pierluisi’s mansion to express concerns about what they feel has been a total disregard for victims of domestic violence.