2012 Olympian Felix Verdejo could face the death penalty following the death of Keishla Rodríguez Ortiz.
Verdejo, 28, who is currently under a promotional contract with Top Rank surrendered himself to Puerto Rican authorities yesterday (Sunday) after the body of the 27-year-old was discovered on Saturday.
Ortiz, who was reported missing on Friday, was believed to be having an affair with Verdejo and was pregnant with his child. According to various reports the victim was beaten, injected with an unidentified substance, her arms and feet bound with wire before being tied to a heavy block and thrown off a bridge. It has also been alleged that Ortiz was shot at while in the water. Her body was identified via dental records.
Verdejo quickly became a person of interest following the disappearance of Ortiz but is now believed to be the leading suspect in her death. The New York Times reports that Verdejo is facing several charges including kidnapping resulting in death, carjacking resulting in death, and killing an unborn child. Verdejo could face the death penalty if convicted.
The boxing career of Verdejo has never hit the heights that many predicted following his professional debut on December 6, 2012. Following 23 wins Verdejo would suffer a shock defeat at the hands of Antonio Lozada Torres in March 2018. Verdejo got back on track with four straight victories before losing to Masayoshi Nakatani last December.
Top Rank issued a statement on Sunday which read: “Top Rank’s thoughts and prayers are with Keishla Marlen Rodriguez Ortiz’s family and friends, and with all those in mourning.
“We are deeply disturbed by the news reports, and we will continue to monitor developments in the case as it progresses.”
Verdejo’s picture and bio has since been removed from the Top Rank website.