Felix Verdejo arrest: Boxer's wife Eliz Marie Santiago's involvement in Keishla Rodriguez murder not ruled out
Verdejo has been accused of punching Keishla, injecting her with 'substances', tying her body to a block, and throwing her from a bridge into the water
Puerto Rican boxer Felix Verdejo Sánchez turned himself in to law enforcement officials on the island on Sunday evening, May 2. He is facing charges of killing Keishla Rodríguez Ortiz, a pregnant woman whose body washed up in a lagoon on Saturday, May 1. But the Puerto Rico Police Bureau has reportedly not ruled out the possibility that others may be linked to the crime as well. In fact, Verdejo's wife, Eliz Marie Santiago, may just be one of these people, as per the authorities.
Verdejo, a lightweight boxer who represented Puerto Rico at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, has been accused of punching Ortiz, injecting her with “substances,” tying her body to a block, and throwing her from a bridge into the water. Ortiz reportedly disappeared on Friday, April 30. Her body was identified through dental records. Rodriguez's family members have reportedly alleged she was pregnant with his child.
Speaking to the local press, the commissioner of the La Uniformada -- the Puerto Rico police, Antonio López, when asked if there was any link between the crime and Santiago, said that it had not yet been ruled out. Regarding interviews that were carried out with Santiago, the commissioner said that, unlike the boxer, she "answered several questions, it was not the same attitude as him, it was a different attitude."
Verdejo has reportedly been married to the beauty and lifestyle influencer for eight years. Even though the boxer never opened up much about his relationship with his wife and their daughter Miranda, his social media is filled with pictures of his daughter and some with his wife. Eliz Marie, who is a fashion influencer and has a whopping fan following of more than 40,000 people on Instagram, often posts pictures from her high-profile shoots and with her daughter Miranda.
Keila Ortiz, the victim’s mother, told reporters that her daughter called on 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,” she said, adding that Verdejo had told her daughter not to have the baby, mentioning his career and family.
Verdejo, also known as "El Diamante" or "The Diamond," appeared in court Monday morning. A federal judge ordered Verdejo held without bail. “This is a death penalty-eligible case,” said judge Camille Velez. He was charged with kidnapping resulting in death, carjacking resulting in death, and intentionally killing an unborn child.
Each charge carries a life sentence or the death penalty. The FBI criminal complaint states that a witness whose name has not been released has "first hand" knowledge of Rodriguez's disappearance and is cooperating with the agency.
FBI Special Agent Lorenzo Vilanova Perez chronicled the details of the alleged kidnapping and killing in an affidavit filed in court on Monday. According to his testimony, Verdejo contacted the unnamed witness on April 27 to ask for help in terminating Rodriguez's pregnancy. Two days later, Verdejo made plans to meet Rodriguez near her home. He and the witness allegedly drove to the meeting in a black Dodge Durango SUV.
After a conversation between the two, Verdejo allegedly punched Ortiz in the face and injected her "with a syringe filled with substances purchased" in San Juan. With the help of the witness, Verdejo reportedly restrained the woman's arms and feet with wire and tied a block to her body. Verdejo and the witness then allegedly drove the two cars to the Teodoro Moscoso bridge in Puerto Rico's capital of San Juan, where they tossed Rodriguez into the water. "Verdejo shot at the Victim with a pistol from the bridge," the affidavit states.