Olympic boxer allegedly killed woman who told him she was pregnant with his child, court documents say
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(NEW YORK) — A Puerto Rican boxer has been arrested for allegedly killing a woman who told him she was pregnant with his child, according to court documents.
Félix Verdejo Sánchez — who competed in the 2012 Olympics — was arrested on Sunday and charged with kidnapping resulting in death, carjacking resulting in death and intentionally killing an unborn child, according to the Department of Justice.
After Keishla Rodríguez Ortiz, 27, told Verdejo she was pregnant with his child, Verdejo allegedly contacted a man — referred to as the “witness” in the charging documents — and asked for his help to terminate the pregnancy, the probable cause affidavit said.
Verdejo contacted Rodríguez Ortiz on Thursday and made a plan to meet up, the documents said.
After Rodríguez Ortiz got into Verdejo’s car, where the witness was also present, Verdejo allegedly punched her in the face, the documents said, citing statements from the witness.
Rodríguez Ortiz was also “injected with a syringe filled with substances purchased from a drug point,” the affidavit said.
Verdejo and the witness then allegedly restrained her arms and feet with wire and tied a block to her, the documents said.
The witness allegedly took Rodríguez Ortiz’s keys and got in her car, and Verdejo and the witness then allegedly drove the two cars onto the Teodoro Moscoso Bridge, which spans the San Jose Lagoon, the documents said.
Rodríguez Ortiz’s body was taken out of the car and tossed off the side of the bridge and into the water, the probable cause affidavit said.
Then “Verdejo shot at the Victim with a pistol from the bridge,” the documents said. A shell casing was found on the bridge, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Rodríguez Ortiz — who had recently told her family she was pregnant — was reported missing on Thursday, the documents said.
Rodríguez Ortiz’s car was abandoned and recovered by police on Friday, documents said. Her body was recovered in the San Jose Lagoon on Saturday.
Verdejo’s defense attorney declined to comment to ABC News Monday.
“I commend our partners in the FBI, the Puerto Rico Police Bureau, and the Puerto Rico Department of Justice for their dedicated and tireless efforts that led to the charges and arrest of the defendant,” the United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, W. Stephen Muldrow, said in a statement. “We will continue working towards the ending of gender-based violence, and we offer our deepest condolences to the family of the victim.”
Cellphone data showed Rodríguez Ortiz’s phone and Verdejo’s phone were near each other at several sites, including by the bridge, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Surveillance video showed an SUV, which looked like Verdejo’s, parking in the emergency lane of the Teodoro Moscoso Bridge on Thursday morning, according to the probable cause affidavit. “There is visible movement of at least one individual on the side of the vehicle,” the document said. “The video then depicts the SUV departing the location and returning to a nearby spot on the bridge on at least two additional occasions.”
The alleged crime comes amid a rise in gender-based killings in Puerto Rico.
In January, Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi declared a gender violence state of emergency and signed an executive order that would allocate resources to deal with gender violence on the island.
“Gender violence is a social evil, based on ignorance and attitudes that cannot have space or tolerance in the Puerto Rico that we aspire to,” Pierluisi said in a news release. “For too long, vulnerable victims have suffered the consequences of systematic machismo, inequity, discrimination, lack of education, lack of guidance and above all, lack of action. It is my duty and my commitment as governor to establish a STOP to gender violence.”
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