Boxer Félix Verdejo accused of murdering woman pregnant with her child, who represented Puerto Rico at the 2012 Olympics, has been indicted in US federal court for kidnapping and killing a woman pregnant with her child, authorities said .
Verdejo was taken into custody in Puerto Rico on Sunday for the murder of Keishla Rodríguez Ortiz, 27. He has been charged with kidnapping and carjacking that resulted in the death and intentional murder of an unborn child, the U.S. prosecutor’s office in Puerto Rico said in a statement.
Verdejo, 27, faces the death penalty if convicted.
A lawyer for Verdejo was not immediately available for comment.
An FBI agent wrote in a federal court affidavit that Rodríguez was killed Thursday after meeting with Verdejo to ask for his help in terminating her pregnancy.
Verdejo punched Rodríguez in the face and injected him with a substance before dumping his body over San Juan’s Teodoro Moscoso Bridge and into the San Jose Lagoon, the officer wrote.
Authorities issued an arrest warrant for Verdejo after Rodríguez went missing and investigators interviewed a witness and examined surveillance camera footage and cellphone tapes.
On Sunday, hundreds of people gathered on the Teodoro Moscoso Bridge, near where Rodríguez’s body was reportedly dumped into the lagoon. They called for justice for Rodríguez and for more to be done to tackle the outbreak of gender-based violence in island territory, the Washington Post reported.
“The pain, anger and outrage that we feel every time we witness a crime of gender-based violence must remain alive in us so that we do not have the responsibility to protect, prevent and abolish this evil”, the governor from Puerto Rico, Pedro Pierluisi said in a statement on Sunday, three months after declaring a state of emergency to resolve the issue.
Verdejo fought in the lightweight division at the London Olympics in 2012. He has a record of 27 wins and two losses in the ring.
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