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Puerto Rican boxer Felix Verdejo charged with killing pregnant woman

Puerto Rican boxer Felix Verdejo Sanchez has been charged with the death of a pregnant woman whose body was found Saturday in the San Jose Lagoon. Photo by Thais Llorca/EPA-EFE
Puerto Rican boxer Felix Verdejo Sanchez has been charged with the death of a pregnant woman whose body was found Saturday in the San Jose Lagoon. Photo by Thais Llorca/EPA-EFE

May 3 (UPI) -- Federal prosecutors have charged Puerto Rican boxer Felix Verdejo Sanchez with kidnapping and killing a pregnant woman who was reported missing late last month.

The 27-year-old boxer turned himself into the police for questioning Sunday evening after a criminal complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico charging him with kidnapping resulting in death, carjacking resulting in death and killing of an unborn child, The New York Times reported.

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Federal prosecutors accuse Verdejo of killing Keishla Marlen Rodriguez Ortiz, 27, who the police reported missing Thursday. Her body was retrieved by police on Saturday from the San Jose Lagoon and was identified as Rodriguez Ortiz the following day through dental records, Puerto Rico's Institute of Forensic Science said in a press release.

"I congratulate my more than 200 police officers and all prosecutors, who, as one team, tirelessly and with the greatest commitment, put their hearts to clear the Keishla case in a nimble and precise manner," Commissioner of the Puerto Rico Police Bureau Antonio Lopez Figueroa said late Sunday in a statement. "Our commitment to her family, from day one, was to do justice for Keishla and we are doing that."

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The complaint filed against Verdejo accuses him of contacting a person identified as "the witness" on Tuesday, requesting "his help to terminate the pregnancy" of Rodriguez Ortiz who had previously informed Verdejo that she was carrying his child.

Verdejo arranged to meet Rodriguez Ortiz on Thursday when the court document accuses him of punching her in the face and then injecting her with a syringe filled with "substances."

The witness and Verdejo then restrained Rodriguez Ortiz's arms and feet with wire before tying her to a block and driving to a bridge where she was removed from the car and tossed into the water below, prosecutors said in the document.

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Verdejo is then accused of firing a gun at Rodriguez Ortiz.

Top Rank, which has promoted Verdejo during his boxing career, said in a statement Sunday that the company's prayers with with the friends and family of Rodriguez Ortiz and those who are in mourning.

"We are deeply disturbed by the news reports, and we will continue to monitor developments of the case as it progresses," it said.

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