Puerto Rican Boxer Félix Verdejo is Questioned in Woman’s Disappearance


The Puerto Rican boxer Félix Verdejo was questioned in connection with the disappearance of a 27-year-old woman on Friday, a day before her body washed up in a lagoon in San Juan, the island’s capital, the authorities said.

Keishla Rodríguez Ortiz, whose body was found on Saturday, was identified through dental records, Puerto Rico’s Institute of Forensic Science said on Sunday. The police said in a missing person’s report that Ms. Rodríguez Ortiz had last spoken with her mother around 7 a.m. local time on Thursday.

The authorities said they had identified Mr. Verdejo, 27, as a person of interest in Ms. Rodríguez Ortiz’s disappearance.

Mr. Verdejo was seen walking out of the San Juan Criminal Investigation Corps headquarters on Friday, according to reports in the Puerto Rican news media. Capt. Luis Díaz Muñoz of the criminal investigation corps told the newspaper El Nuevo Día that Mr. Verdejo was not cooperating with investigators.

Antonio López Figueroa, the commissioner of the territory’s police force, told reporters on Friday that Mr. Verdejo was a person of interest in the case. At a news conference on Saturday, he did not say whether the authorities had identified any suspects.

Mr. Verdejo, a lightweight boxer, represented Puerto Rico at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. His record is 27-2, with 17 knockouts, according to Top Rank, a boxing promotion company in Las Vegas.

He could not be reached on Sunday. Top Rank, which lists Mr. Verdejo as one of its fighters, did not respond to a request for comment.

“The thoughts and prayers of Top Rank are with the family and friends of Keishla Marlen Rodríguez Ortiz, and with the people of Puerto Rico in this moment of mourning,” the company said in a statement on Saturday night. “We are profoundly disturbed by the news and will continue to monitor the evolution of the case as it progresses.”

Ms. Rodríguez Ortiz’s mother, Keila Ortiz Rivera, told El Nuevo Día that when she last spoke with her daughter on Thursday morning, Ms. Rodríguez Ortiz told her that Mr. Verdejo was on his way to meet her to look at the results of a pregnancy test she had taken.

“I told her, ‘Be careful’ because he had threatened her not to have the baby, that he had his family, that he is a boxer, that he is a public figure,” Ms. Ortiz Rivera told El Nuevo Día.

Around 9:30 a.m. local time on Thursday, Ms. Ortiz Rivera said she received a call from her other daughter, who told her that Ms. Rodríguez Ortiz’s boss had called to say she had not shown up for work.

“For me, that was super strange because she is very responsible about her job,” Ms. Ortiz Rivera said.

Ms. Ortiz Rivera said she called Mr. Verdejo to ask about her daughter, and he said he did not know where she was.

“You’re lying to me — that’s the first lie,” Ortiz Rivera recalled telling him. “She talked to me a little while ago, and told me that you were going to her house when you were done working out.”






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