Verdejo charged after body of woman found

Sports

A 27-year-old woman whose body was found in a lagoon in Puerto Rico was a companion of lightweight boxer Felix Verdejo, who has been questioned by police and whose car was seized overnight, Puerto Rican authorities said Sunday.

No one has been arrested in the case, and Verdejo and his attorneys have declined comment. Police said Verdejo met with investigators Friday morning but did not cooperate and refused to answer questions.

Puerto Rico’s Institute of Forensic Science said in a statement that Keishla Rodriguez was identified via dental records and that officials are still analyzing Verdejo’s car.

Top Rank, which has promoted Verdejo, 27, since he turned pro in 2012, released a statement on the situation Saturday.

“Top Rank’s thoughts and prayers are with Keishla Marlen Rodriguez Ortiz’s family and friends, and with all those in mourning,” the statement read. “We are deeply disturbed by the news reports, and we will continue to monitor developments in the case as it progresses.”

Rodriguez’s family has said she was pregnant with Verdejo’s child. Keila Ortiz, the woman’s mother, told reporters that her daughter had called her before she vanished Thursday and told her Verdejo was going to her house to see the results of a pregnancy test.

“I told her, be careful, because he had already threatened her” and told her not to have the baby, mentioning his career and family, she said.

Verdejo is married but has known Rodriguez since middle school and had kept in touch with her, her parents said. They reported her missing after she never showed up to work at an animal grooming business.

Verdejo (27-2, 17 KOs) is a former Olympian who represented Puerto Rico in 2012. His professional career was temporarily sidetracked after he was hospitalized following a motorcycle crash in 2016.

The case has outraged many in Puerto Rico, where another woman was recently found burned to death after she filed a domestic violence complaint that a judge dismissed. A Superior Court judge has announced an investigation into that decision.

Hundreds of people gathered Sunday at a bridge that crosses the lagoon where Rodriguez’s body was found to demand justice for her and other women killed, with some throwing flowers into the water below.

ESPN’s Brett Okamoto and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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