SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A federal jury convicted Félix Verdejo-Sánchez today for federal crimes that arise from the murder of Keishla Rodríguez Ortiz on April 29, 2021.
The jury determined, according to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Félix Verdejo-Sánchez, along with his co-defendant Luis Antonio Cádiz-Martínez, aiding and abetting each other, committed a kidnapping that resulted in the death of Keishla M. Rodríguez Ortiz and her unborn child.
On the morning of April 29, 2021, Félix Verdejo-Sánchez executed a premeditated plan to murder Keishla Rodríguez Ortiz and her unborn child by luring Ms. Rodríguez Ortiz into his Dodge Durango where, with the assistance of Luis Cádiz Martínez, Verdejo punched Ms. Rodríguez Ortiz, injected her with drugs and then tied her with metal wire to a cement block. Mr. Verdejo Sánchez then drove the victim to the Teodoro Moscoso bridge, and, with Cadiz’s assistance, threw Ms. Rodríguez Ortiz into the San José Lagoon. He later jumped into the lagoon in order to finish murdering both victims.
“We stand firmly with the family of Keishla Rodríguez Ortiz and all those in the community who sought justice for this senseless, cruel, and heinous act of premeditated and cold-blooded violence against Keishla and her unborn child,” said United States Attorney Muldrow. “I also commend the hard work, dedication, and relentless pursuit of justice by federal and local law enforcement, including the FBI, the Puerto Rico Police Bureau, the Puerto Rico Department of Public Safety, the Puerto Rico Forensic Science Institute, and the Puerto Rico Department of Justice, as well as the prosecutors and professional staff in the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”
“There are damages which cannot ever be repaired, not even by a just verdict,” said FBI San Juan Special Agent in Charge, Joseph González. “In cases such as these, all we can do is give our all in the pursuit of justice. Today, I can say that my team did exactly that, and I am proud of their dedication. I would like to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the amazing work and the jury for their service. We did what we do and justice was served.”
Defendant Verdejo-Sánchez faces a mandatory life sentence for each conviction under 18 USC Sections 1201(a)(1) and 1841, respectively. The sentencing was scheduled for November 3, 2023 at 2:00 pm.
The FBI was in charge of the investigation with the close collaboration and support of the Puerto Rico Department of Public Safety, the Puerto Rico Police Bureau, and the Puerto Rico Department of Justice.
Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan Gottfried, Chief of the Violent Crimes and National Security Section at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeanette Collazo prosecuted the case.