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Press Release

Félix Verdejo-Sánchez Sentenced to Life in Prison for Kidnapping Resulting in Death, and Intentionally Killing an Unborn Child

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico –Félix Verdejo-Sánchez was sentenced today to life in prison for federal crimes that arise from the murder of Keishla Rodríguez Ortiz on April 29, 2021.

On July 28, 2023, a jury determined, according to court documents and evidence presented at trial, that 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.

“Today’s life sentence rightly holds Verdejo-Sánchez responsible for the pain and suffering he inflicted on his victims,” said W. Stephen Muldrow, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.  “To this day, the defendant maintains his unrepentant attitude. Like Verdejo-Sánchez now knows, anyone who commits cold-blooded crimes of violence in violation of federal law will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law by the Justice Department and this office.”

“In cases such as this one, regardless of the outcome, there is no way to restore what has been lost,” said Joseph González, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI San Juan Field Office. “The only salve we can offer victim’s families is to do our work zealously and without rest, until justice is served. I believe we have done that here and I pray that this will give Keishla’s family some peace. Special recognitions to the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico, the Police of Puerto Rico and to our Violent Crimes Squad for a detailed and arduous job well done.”

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.

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Updated November 3, 2023

Violent Crime