A Florida woman who claimed two black men kidnapped her son has been arrested for attempted murder and first-degree felony murder.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, 47-year-old Patricia Ripley told police that two unknown men cut her off in traffic on Thursday night, close to Southwest 158th Avenue and Kendall Drive in Miami. She said the men then kidnapped her son, 9-year-old Alejandro Ripley.
Ripley claimed the men sideswiped her car, then pulled in front of her near the Home Depot off of Kendall drive, forcing her to stop. One man, according to Ripley, walked up to her and demanded drugs. When she didn’t have any, she said he grabbed Alejandro and her cellphone and fled.
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Hours later, 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.
The Miami Herald reported Friday that a source close to the case said that security footage at the Home Depot showed Ripley sitting by herself in her car for around 20 minutes around the time the supposed abduction took place. Alejandro was not in the car with her. She then called police. It’s unclear what phone she used to contact authorities.
The source added that police were at the scene within two minutes.
Ripley described the suspects as two black males in a light blue, four-door sedan. She said one of the men had cornrows and wore a black bandana over his face.
It was all a lie, prosecutors said.
According to Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, security footage captured Ripley pushing her son into a canal off of 103rd Avenue and Kendall Drive at around 7:30 p.m. on Thursday night. A Good Samaritan rescued the boy the first time and even offered to call the police on Ripley’s behalf.
It’s unclear how or what she said to explain to the Good Samaritan about how the boy ended up in the water.
An hour later, at around 8:30 p.m., Ripley allegedly drove to Southwest 62nd Street and 138th Court, near the Miccosukee Golf and Country Club, and pushed Alejandro into another canal, where he drowned.
“An hour later, she brought the boy to a different canal … this time, there was no one there to save him,” Fernandez Rundle said.
Ripley reportedly confessed to what she did and added that her son “going to be in a better place.”
Alejandro was non-verbal and autistic; he attended the Greater Heights Academy at some point, a school for special needs children. Court records reportedly indicate that the school filed a lawsuit against Patricia Ripley for $4,100 in unpaid tuition in 2016.
At the time of his death, he was being homeschooled. Investigators say that Ripley may have been overwhelmed in the past months.
Ripley remains behind bars without bond. Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Alejandro Ripley/Police Handout]