Woman who saw autistic boy's mom before she pushed him into canal says nothing seemed unusual: 'He made no sound'

Woman who saw autistic boy's mom before she pushed him into canal says nothing seemed unusual: 'He made no sound'
Alejandro Ripley (Miami-Dade Police)

MIAMI, FLORIDA: It was just another day in Miami when nine-year-old Alejandro Ripley's death sent shockwaves across the country on May 21. His mother, 47-year-old Patricia Ripley of West Kendall, Florida, initially told police authorities that her nine-year-old son with autism was abducted and an amber alert was issued before authorities realized the truth and arrested and charged the mother with murder in connection to his death.

Following hours of questioning by authorities, she confessed to her son's murder and was booked into a Miami-Dade County jail early on Saturday, May 23. According to reports, Ripley's arrest came shortly after her son, Alejandro, was found dead in a canal at the Miccosukee Golf & Country Club on Friday, May 22.

Now, a Southwest Miami Dade woman has come out to recount how she witnessed the nine-year-old boy's fall into a canal. According to the police, this was the autistic child's mother's first attempt to kill him. The witness who saw the child,  Alejandro, fall has chosen to keep her identity anonymous. She opened up on the incident that had taken place near Southwest 103rd Avenue and 88th Street on Thursday, May 21. 

"It didn’t look like anything abnormal at all. I saw a woman who looked to be hugging her kid," the woman shared. She said she started to grow a bit concerned when the child and the mother kept getting closer and closer to the water. "They were walking towards the embankment of the canal. As I got further into my patio, I thought to myself, 'Oh my, he’s going to fall down,' and he did," she added. The woman said that she immediately called her husband who was inside the house. 

"The only weird thing was that at first, she was just standing there until she saw me screaming, and that’s when she took off screaming for help," the woman continued. The witness also shared that the child had been hanging on to the embankment across the canal and did not seem to be in much real danger. "He never said a sound. He was very calm the whole entire time," the woman shared. She said that the mother came back with a man to try and help the child out. The woman said that she had written the incident off as an accident but that clearly was not the case.

We had previously reported that the mother who was identified as Patricia Ripley, had in fact pushed her son into a canal just an hour before her second successful attempt. 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, reports revealed.

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, he opened her car door and stole her cellphone, tablet and abducted her son. Ripley described the alleged abductors as two black men, police said.

She described herself as a white Hispanic, according to the arrest affidavit. After being interrogated by the police 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. 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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