Felix Verdejo Sanchez has been arrested and charged for killing his girlfriend, Keishla Rodríguez Ortiz, after a witness confirmed his involvement. Rodríguez Ortiz was two months pregnant with the boxer's child.
In yet another harrowing incident of gender-based violence in Puerto Rico, professional boxer Felix Verdejo Sanchez stands accused of kidnapping and killing his girlfriend, Keishla Rodríguez Ortiz, and their unborn baby.
The US Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico issued a statement confirming the arrest and charges brought against the boxer, who represented Puerto Rico in the London Olympic Games in 2012.
Felix Verdejo pictured walking at the MGM Grand Conference Center Grand Ballroom on July 16, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. | Source: Getty Images
Sanchez is being charged on three counts, kidnapping resulting in death, carjacking resulting in death, and intentionally killing an unborn child. All three charges carry heavy penalties, from life imprisonment to the death penalty.
The 27-year-old surrendered himself to authorities on May 2, after Rodríguez Ortiz's body was found and identified via dental records the previous day. On Monday, May 3, Sanchez appeared in court where a judge ordered he be held without bail.
Officials confirmed the boxer's involvement in the heinous crime after an unnamed witness came forward with firsthand details of the events leading up to Rodríguez Ortiz's kidnapping and death last week.
Rodríguez Ortiz spent her last moments bound in Sanchez's car, where he drove her to the Teodoro Moscoso Bridge.
According to NPR, the witness told the FBI that Sanchez, known as "El Diamante," initially asked him for help terminating Rodríguez Ortiz's pregnancy. Days later, Sanchez arranged a meeting with the victim.
According to the criminal complaint, Sanchez and Rodríguez Ortiz arrived at the meeting place separately before the unsuspecting victim joined Sanchez in his car, a black Dodge Durango SUV.
While in the car, Sanchez allegedly punched her in the face before injecting her with an unidentified substance. The witness admitted to helping the boxer bind her hands and feet with wire and tying her to a block.
Rodríguez Ortiz spent her last moments bound in Sanchez's car, where he drove her to the Teodoro Moscoso Bridge in San Juan. The witness confirmed that Sanchez threw her body into the water and fired his gun toward her body.
The new Puerto Rico governor, Pedro Pierluisi, announced that the US territory was in a state of emergency for gender violence.
Evidence found by the Puerto Rican police officials, including cellphone records, surveillance footage, and a bullet shell casing, all supported the witness's account of events. It also led to the discovery of Rodríguez Ortiz's abandoned car.
While Sanchez's arrest is a victory for the police department, family, friends, and community mourn the loss of a young life and an unborn baby. This case and another similar case in Puerto Rico have upset many locals who are demanding justice.
As hundreds of people gathered near the bridge where Rodríguez Ortiz's body was found on Sunday night, the new Puerto Rico governor, Pedro Pierluisi, announced that the US territory was in a state of emergency for gender violence.
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