Neighbors had pulled 9-year-old autistic boy from Miami canal an hour before mom pushed him into another canal

Police said neighbors heard screams and came to the rescue of the 9-year-old non-verbal boy with autism but the child was unlucky a second time around


                            Neighbors had pulled 9-year-old autistic boy from Miami canal an hour before mom pushed him into another canal
Patricia Ripley, Alejandro Ripley (Miami-Dade Police)

MIAMI, FLORIDA: A woman from Florida, who allegedly lied to the police that her autistic nine-year-old son was abducted by two black men, has confessed to leading him into a canal where his dead body was later found. But there is more to the heartbreaking story, according to authorities. 

Police now allege that Patricia Ripley, 45, had in fact pushed her son into another canal just an hour before her second successful attempt. Witness statements and surveillance footage shows a woman believed to be Ripley pushing the child into a canal, Local10 news reports. A woman suspected to be Ripley was seen pushing Alejandro Ripley into a canal at the Kendall Acres Condominium complex at 7:30 pm on Thursday, May 21. However, neighbors heard the child's screams and were able to intervene and save the child from drowning. 

Around an hour after the incident, Ripley found another canal at the Miccosukee Golf and Country Club SW 62nd street and 138th Court. She then led her son into the water. His lifeless body was found the following morning at around 7.50 am, the police reveal. 

Ripley had initially said her son had been kidnapped. She had also placed a call for help on May 21 night which led to an Amber Alert being issued and also a massive search. She had told authorities that she had been followed and ambushed after another vehicle sideswiped her car. She said that as a result, she crashed her car. A man emerged from the other vehicle, armed with a knife and demanded drugs from her. When she told the man she had no drugs, the opened her car door and stole her cellphone, tablet and abducted her son. Ripley described the alleged abductors as to black men, police said. She described herself as a white Hispanic, according to the arrest affidavit.

The police then took Ripley to the Miami Dade Police Department where they questioned her for several hours. After being interrogated for a while, she began to provide conflicting statements. She also admitted that she had made up the whole abduction story and told the truth as to what had really happened. As per an affidavit, she had told the police that "he's going to be in a better place" while allegedly referring to her son. 

During a news conference, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said, "The death of a child is tragic. The killing of a child is horrific. Our community is shocked by the killing of 9-year-old Alejandro Ripley allegedly by his own mother, Patricia Ripley, presently charged with Attempted 1st Degree Premeditated Murder & 1st Degree Murder & No Bond." If convict Ripley faces a death sentence or life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Miami-Dade Police Department Director Freddy Ramirez shared, "I’m deeply saddened for what happened to that young boy and then for her to displace blame of her crime on another community is just as well another crime that was committed."

Ripley's husband and baby daddy Aldo Ripley was very emotional but did come to the defense of his wife. On Saturday, May 23,  he said, "We love Alejandro and I don’t agree with whatever they’ve said about my wife," referring to his dead son. 

We had previously reported that around two dozen people had shown up for a memorial service on Friday, May 22, for Alejandro. The memorial had taken place outside The Friendship Circle of Miami - a center for children with special needs that the boy attended prior to the coronavirus lockdown, WPLG-TV reported. 

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