*This is a developing story that will be updated as additional information becomes available.*
Florida authorities say an autistic boy is dead after his mother claimed two men cut her off in traffic and took him from her car.
According to the Florida State Patrol, the mother contacted police and said two unknown men cut her off in traffic on Thursday night, close to Southwest 158th Avenue and Kendall Drive in Miami. The woman told police two men then kidnapped her son, 9-year-old Alejandro Ripley.
The mother told police that after the men forced her off of the road, they got out of their cars and demanded drugs from her. She reportedly claimed that when she told them she didn’t have any, one of the men grabbed her son from the car and took her cellphone from her. She said the men were driving a four-door, light blue sedan.
“The passenger of the vehicle exits the vehicle, approaches the mother, and demands drugs. She says she does not have any drugs. And so the passenger at that point reaches in, grabs her cell phone, steals her cell phone, and takes her child,” Miami-Dade police Detective Angel Rodriguez said.
The woman said one of the men had cornrows and was wearing black clothing and a black bandana over his face. She said both suspects were black males.
On Friday morning, police found the boy’s body at the Miccosukee Golf and Country Club, close to water. Local 10 reports that authorities pulled the child’s body from a nearby canal.
It’s unclear at this point how the boy died.
Anyone with information on the case is urged to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.
Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Alejandro Ripley/Police Handout]