Florida woman charged in drowning death of 9-year-old son she claimed had been kidnapped

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Alejandro Ripley (left) – Photo courtesy of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Patricia Ripley (Right) – Photo courtesy of the Miami-Dade County Jail

MIAMI, Fla. (WJW) — The mother of a 9-year-old non-verbal boy with autism has been charged with first-degree murder in her son’s death, according to the Miami Herald.

Alejandro Ripley’s body was found in a pond on Friday. Authorities say he drowned.

An Amber Alert was issued for the boy after his mother, Patricia Ripley, 47, reported that Alejandro was abducted from a Home Depot parking lot in Miami by two unknown men on Thursday night. She claimed the suspects crashed into their car and took off with him.

Early Saturday morning, Ripley was booked into the Miami-Dade County jail on first degree murder charges.

The newspaper reports that Ripley admitted that she was responsible for the child’s death and said “he’s going to be in a better place.”

Investigators say they were immediately suspicious of Ripley as she continuously gave conflicting statements during the kidnapping investigation.

Police confronted Ripley with evidence placing her at the canal where Alejandro’s body was found. Video surveillance footage even showed her pushing him into the water.

Sources also told the Miami Herald that security footage from Home Depot showed Ripley sitting in her car alone for 20 minutes before she called the police on Thursday.

Ripley is a married mother of two.

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