Keishla Rodríguez Ortiz and her unborn child were found dead in the San Jose Lagoon on Saturday. A day later, Verdejo – who competed in the 2012 Olympics – was arrested and charged with kidnapping, carjacking and murder, according to federal court documents.
CNN has reached out to Verdejo’s lawyers for comment.
“I commend our partners in the FBI, Puerto Rico Police Bureau and Puerto Rico Department of Justice for their dedicated and tireless efforts which have led to the charges and the arrest of the accused,” said the Minister of Justice. US Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow. “We will continue to work to end gender-based violence and offer our deepest condolences to the family of the victim.”
Although some of the charges carry a maximum death penalty, it is not known whether federal prosecutors will apply the death penalty in this case.
A witness told authorities Verdejo contacted her to help her terminate a pregnancy after Rodríguez Ortiz told her she had taken a pregnancy test and was expecting her child, according to the complaint.
Verdejo and the witness, who is not named in the complaint, met her near her home. After a conversation, Verdejo punched Rodríguez Ortiz in the face, injected him with a syringe, and he and the witness held up his arms and feet with wire, according to the complaint.
Verdejo and the witness then drove his car and that of Rodríguez Ortiz to the Teodoro Moscoso Bridge on the San Jose Lagoon. There they threw her into the water, Verdejo shooting the victim from the bridge, according to the complaint.
“I congratulate the police, prosecutors and forensic science staff who, as a unique team, tirelessly and with the utmost commitment, have put their hearts into resolving Keishla’s case in an agile and precise manner,” said said Antonio López, Puerto Rico Police Office. Commissioner. “Our commitment to his family, from day one, was to do Keishla justice and we have already started to do so.
CNN’s Jamiel Lynch and Gregory Lemos contributed to this report.