by Holly Matkin and Christopher Berg
Miami-Dade County, FL – The mother of a murdered autistic boy has been arrested for his murder after she initially claimed the boy was kidnapped.
Patricia Ripley, 45, has been charged with first-degree murder and attempted pre-meditated murder for the death of nine-year-old Alejandro Ripley, according to WPLG.
The search for the autistic boy began Thursday, after his mother told police that they were ambushed by two men who demanded drugs from her, NBC News reported.
“The driver of the unknown vehicle attempted to side-swipe her vehicle,” police said in a statement at the time. “The vehicle then blocked her in while a male passenger ambushed her, demanding drugs.”
Patricia Ripley claimed that she told the suspect that she did not have any drugs, so he grabbed her phone away from her and forced Alejandro Ripley into his vehicle.
The suspects and the abducted boy then allegedly sped off in a light blue sedan, according to FOX News.
The kidnappers were described as black males, one of whom was wearing a black bandana over his face and was wearing all-black clothing.
An AMBER Alert was issued for the non-verbal boy just before midnight, NBC News reported.
Investigators located Alejandro Ripley’s body on Friday morning approximately four miles away from the parking lot where he was kidnapped, NBC News reported.
The detectives working the case located a surveillance video from 7:30 p.m. Thursday where Patricia pushed her son into a canal at 103rd Avenue and Kendall Drive, but witnesses were able to rescue him.
Authorities say that’s when Patricia took her son to a canal at Southwest 62nd Street and 138th Court and pushed him into the water. There was nobody there to save him the second time, and Alejandro drowned.
Patricia is being held without bond at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.