The body of a 9-year-old autistic boy who became the subject of an Amber Alert in Miami Thursday night was found floating in a canal only 11 hours after he was reported kidnapped.
According to Miami-Dade police, Alejandro Ripley’s mother, Patricia Ripley, told police two black men started following her and her son in their car Thursday night. She claims that the driver of that car sideswiped her, forcing her to pull over. Then, Ripley said, the vehicle pulled in front of her blocking her from driving. Once both cars were stopped, a man got out of the passenger side, she said, and “ambushed her, demanding drugs.”
Ripley, 45, said she told the men she didn’t have any drugs. She said that the men then stole her phone and kidnapped her autistic, non-verbal son and headed south in a blue four-door sedan.
Ripley’s mother has now been charged with first-degree murder in his death, according to court records. She’s accused of faking his abduction and pushing him into the canal.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement Confirmed the body of Alejandro was Found Friday Morning
In a sad series of tweets Friday morning it was learned that Alejandro died. First, Miami-Dade police tweeted, “We are currently responding to the scene of a body found in the area of SW 62 Street and 138 Court.”
Next, police reported the body was that of a child.
“Our Homicide detectives are on the scene of a deceased child in the area of SW 62 Street and 138 Court. Updates to follow,” Miami Dade police tweeted.
Finally, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed it was Alejandro, writing, “The Florida Amber Alert for Alejandro Ripley has been cancelled. We are very sad to report that the child was found deceased.”
The boy was found floating in a body of water off of the Miccosukee Golf & Country Club, which is a Native American property. The location the boy was discovered in was not far from where he was reported to have been abducted.
The tribe issued a statement saying, “The Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida is deeply saddened to hear about the tragic loss of 9-year-old Alejandro Ripley. The Tribe is fully cooperating with authorities in their investigation and offer their sincerest condolences to his family,” the Miami Herald reported.
Miami-Dade Police Say They’re Looking at all Possibilities as to What Happened to Alejandro
In a press conference near where the body was found Friday morning, a police spokesperson said, “as it is right now we’re taking every detail into consideration,” adding that the mother’s story about the abduction was “definitely a possibility.”
Patricia Ripley is being interviewed, the spokesperson said. Police are also looking for the men who Ripley said ambushed her and took her son, and are asking anyone with any information to come forward.
Police will be collecting camera footage from nearby businesses and street cams as part of the investigation.
According to CBS Miami, a neighbor and friend of the Ripley Family, Boris Ugartechea, told them, “We are very, very sad. My wife just broke down. We appreciated the little kid. He was autistic but seemed like a very, very happy kid. He was always playing, doing something with his little laptop.”
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