Miami-Dade

Mother Who Reported Abduction of 9-Year-Old Son With Autism Now Charged in His Murder

According to Miami-Dade Corrections records, 45-year-old Patricia Ripley was arrested and charged with first degree murder.

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What to Know

  • Patricia Ripley, mother of 9-year-old Alejandro Ripley, was arrested for the murder of her son Saturday morning
  • An Amber Alert was issued for 9-year-old Alejandro Ripley out of Miami-Dade
  • The Amber Alert was canceled after Ripley's body was found Friday morning

The mother of a Miami-Dade, Florida boy who was found dead after reportedly being abducted, was arrested early Saturday morning for the murder of her 9-year-old son.

According to Miami-Dade Police, 45-year-old Patricia Ripley was arrested and charged with first degree murder.

Questions still remain in the death of Alejandro Ripley, who was allegedly abducted before his body was found hours later. NBC 6's Willard Shepard reports.

The body of her 9-year-old son, Alejandro Ripley, was discovered in a body of water Friday morning, hours after Florida Department of Law Enforcement issued an amber alert for the child.

At a news conference on Saturday, State Attorney Katherine Rundle said there was evidence Ripley's mother had been the one that drowned her son, and that it was not the first time she attempted to do it.

Rundle said video obtained by police showed Patricia pushing her son - who was autistic and non-verbal - into a canal Thursday night, in the area of 103rd Avenue and Kendall Drive.

She says neighbors were able to hear Alejandro's screams and rescued him out of the water.

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However, according to police, it was not the last time Patricia would attempt to drown her son that night.

On Friday morning, Miami-Dade Police confirmed Alejandro's body had been found in another body of water in the area Southwest 62nd Street and 138th Court.

Officers had initially responded to the parking lot of a Home Depot at 15750 Southwest 88th Street late Thursday night looking for Alejandro.

Miami-Dade police said his mother told investigators that they were driving on Southwest 88th Street when she noticed they were being followed by an unknown vehicle that tried to side-swipe her vehicle.

Patricia Ripley said the other vehicle forced her to veer onto Southwest 158th Avenue and she was blocked in while a man - who she identified as being black and a passenger in the other car - ambushed her and demanded drugs, police said.

Patricia Ripley said she told the man she didn't have any drugs, and he took her cellphone and the boy and fled in the other car.

Police say Patricia's story was a lie.

"For her to displace blame of her crime on another community is just as well another crime that was committed," Miami-Dade police Director, Alfredo Ramirez, said.

Patricia is currently being held with no bond.

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