Lightweight boxer Felix Verdejo is accused of kidnapping his pregnant girlfriend, authorities said Sunday night.
Verdejo became federal agents in San Juan after the body of 27-year-old Caisla Rodriguez was found in a lagoon in Puerto Rico. Rodriguez reportedly disappeared two days before her body was found in the United States.
U.S. prosecutors said late Sunday that Verdejo had been charged with kidnapping and theft that resulted in the death and premeditated murder of an unborn child, the Associated Press reported. The charges carry the maximum death penalty.
Terrible accusations against Verdejo
A complaint filed by the FBI accuses Verdejo of kidnapping Rodriguez, punching her in the face and injecting her with a syringe with an unidentified substance purchased at a public apartment complex. Verdejo then tied his arms and legs with heavy wire, tied her to a heavy block and threw her across a bridge into a lagoon at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, according to the complaint. Officials say Verdejo then fired several shots at his body.
According to the FBI complaint, a person claiming to be an accomplice contacted them. The man says Verdejo asked for “his help to terminate the pregnancy.” This man says he helped Verdejo tie Rodriguez and throw her across the bridge.
Rodriguez’s body was found Saturday and identified by dental records on Sunday.
Rodriguez’s mother says Verduho threatened her
Rodriguez’s mother Keila Ortiz told reporters that she last heard from her daughter on Thursday when she was about to meet Verdejo at her home to show him the results of a pregnancy test. Verdejo, 27, is married to another woman and has a daughter.
Verdejo, 27, knew Rodriguez from high school and kept in touch with her, according to Rodriguez’s parents. Her mother told reporters that he had warned her not to give birth to his baby.
“I told her to be careful because he threatened her not to have the baby, that he had a family, that he was a boxer, that he was a public figure,” Ortiz told reporters.
Rodriguez was reported missing when she did not show up for work at a pet care business on Thursday.
Local authorities identified Verdejo as a person of interest on Friday, when she remained in the missing persons case. According to the local newspaper El Nuevo Día, he did not cooperate with the San Juan Criminal Investigation Corps. According to the report, the FBI got involved when the case became a kidnapping investigation.
Verdego came to power hours after the identification of Rodriguez’s body on Sunday.
Verdejo has a professional record of 27-2 with 17 knockouts. He signed with Top Rank after competing for Puerto Rico at the 2012 Olympics, where he qualified for the quarterfinals.
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