Married former boxing champion Félix Verdejo, 27, refuses to answer police questions about a missing woman

Married former boxing champion Félix Verdejo, 27, refuses to answer police questions about a missing woman

Former boxing champion Félix 'El Diamante' Verdejo met with the police and refused to answer questions following the disappearance of a 27-year-old woman who family members say is pregnant with his child in Puerto Rico.

Verdejo was accompanied by two lawyers during a half-hour meeting at the San Juan police headquarters Friday morning, a day after Keishla Marlen Rodríguez was reported missing.

Verdejo's wife, Eliz Marie Santiago, met with the police for questioning Friday night.

Police captain Luis Díaz said Verdejo is not considered a suspect in Rodríguez's disappearance.

Authorities were investigating several anonymous calls received by Rodríguez's parents in which a female could be heard sobbing in the background.   

A four-door gray Kia Forte was found abandoned at a lot next to a home in the municipality of Canóvanas moments before the 27-year-old fighter's arrival at the police station. 

Rodríguez's family confirmed to WAPA TV and other outlets that the 2016 vehicle belongs to Rodríguez.

Several of Rodríguez's personal items were found inside the vehicle, whose doors were unlocked.

A canine unit was used to search the car for 15 minutes and the neighborhood in hopes of locating Rodríguez. A police marine unit also canvassed the Rio Grande de Loiaza.

The family filed a missing person's report Thursday evening after Rodríguez failed to report for her shift at The Pet Salon PR earlier in the day. 

The Pet Salon PR shared a series of photos of Rodríguez at work on its Facebook page and wrote: 'To all our clients, The Pet Salon will be CANCELING all appointments. No one on the staff is in a position to provide them with a quality service like the one we are used to. Sorry for the inconvenience and we hope you understand.'

Rodríguez's mother, Keila Ortiz, told WAPA TV that her daughter and Verdejo knew each other since middle school.

Ortiz said she was at her job in Orlando, Florida, when she last spoke to Rodríguez on Thursday at 7am and learned her daughter was at her apartment waiting for Verdejo to arrive so she could provide him the results of a blood test that confirmed she was expecting with him.

Ortiz accused the married boxer of being behind her daughter's disappearance because he had previously made threats against her and ordered her to have an abortion, she claimed.

'He was threatening her not to have her baby. We are very happy because it is her first baby. We were happy with the news that she was going to be a mom,' said Ortiz, who begged Verdejo to come forward with any information. 

'She told him, calm down, I will have her baby, you don't have to recognize it. My baby's name (will carry) my last name, calm down. I'm not going to bother you. And he told her no, that he is a public figure, that he (was worried about his career in) boxing.'

Bereliz Nichole Rodríguez told newspaper Primera Hora that the relationship between her sister and Verdejo began 11 years ago, and that she had asked Keishla Marlen Rodríguez to terminate the relationship and find somebody else.

Verdejo has a two-year-old daughter with his wife, Eliz Marie Santiago.

He is also the godfather of Bereliz Nichole Rodríguez's two children and a cousin of her husband.

Verdejo has not fought since December 12, 2020 when he was knocked out in a 9th round loss to Masayoshi Nakatani in Las Vegas.

He represented Puerto Rico at the 2012 Olympics and turned pro that same year, joining Top Rank promotions.

Verdejo won his first 23 fights before suffering a TKO loss to Antonio Lozada Torres on March 18, 2018, at Madison Square Garden in New York. 

The former WBO Latino lightweight champion rebounded by winning his next four bouts and then suffered the setback loss to Nakatani.

A spokesperson with Top Rank told that the company was aware of the incident in Puerto Rico, but declined to comment on Verdejo being a person of interest.