[CW: The following story includes disturbing details of a murder currently under investigation]
On May 3 pro boxer Felix Verdejo, 27, was charged with kidnapping resulting in death, carjacking resulting in death and killing an unborn child. Authorities in Puerto Rico suspect that Verdejo murdered Keishla Rodriguez Ortiz, 27, after she revealed she was pregnant. It is believed that Verdejo and Rodriguez were involved in an extramarital affair.
According to Boxing Scene Verdejo has plead not guilty to all charges. After Verdejo entered his plea he was informed that he will now remain in prison in Guaynabo without bail until trial.
If Verdejo is found guilty he faces the possibility of the death penalty.
Verdejo was arrested after Puerto Rico’s division of the FBI spoke to Luis Antonio Cadiz-Martinez. Cadiz-Martinez told the FBI that Verdejo contacted him about ‘ending a pregnancy’.
Cadiz-Martinez claimed he then witnessed Verdejo attack Rodriguez inside his SUV. Cadiz-Martinez said he Verdejo then injected Rodriguez with narcotics, bound her legs and arms and attached a cement block to her.
Cadiz-Martinez claimed he and Verdejo took Rodriguez to the Teodoro Moscoso Bridge and then threw her to into the lagoon below. Cadiz-Martinez said that Verdejo fired a pistol at Rodriguez’s body as it sank into the lagoon.
Rodriguez’s body was found in the lagoon a few days later. Authorities say that location data, obtained from Rodriguez’s cell phone activity, matched Cadiz-Martinez’s account of the story. Authorities also say that surveillance footage from the bridge shows that Verdejo was on the bridge the night Cadiz-Martinez claims they killed Rodriguez.
Verdejo turned pro shortly after representing Puerto Rico at the 2012 London Olympics. Since then he has amassed a 27-2 record and hoisted the WBO Latino lightweight title. His most recent fight, against Masayoshi Nakatani, was an unsuccessful challenge for the vacant WBO Intercontinental lightweight title.
Verdejo is signed with Top Rank. Boxing Scene reports that Verdejo is still under contract with Top Rank. However, the promoter has scrubbed any mention of Verdejo from their official website and promos for upcoming fights (including those related to Nakatani’s upcoming bout with Vasiliy Lomachenko).
Support for survivors of domestic violence can be found from the following organizations:
USA – The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
Canada – DAWN-RAFH Canada
UK and Ireland – Women’s Aid: 0808-2000-247
Rest of the World – HotPeachPages
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