Mother of 9-year-old found dead in Miami-Dade County now prime suspect in case, police say

Alejandro & Patricia Ripley_web.jpg
Alejandro Ripley and Patricia Ripley. (FDLE | MDCC)

The mother of a 9-year-old autistic boy found dead in Miami is now the prime suspect in the police investigation.

Miami-Dade police arrested Patricia Ripley, 45, on Saturday morning for the murder of her son, Alejandro Ripley.

According to State Attorney Kathy Rundle, Ripley falsely told police a light blue car with two black men chased her down, side-swiped her car and then demanded drugs. Ripley also falsely told police the two men stole her phone and abducted her child when she told them she did not have drugs on her.

Alejandro's body was found Friday morning by Miami-Dade Police wearing a blue Captain America t-shirt and a diaper in the area of 62nd Street and 138th Court, Rundle says.

When police investigated the case, Rundle says they found a video showing Ripley pushed Alejandro into a canal around 7:30 p.m. in the area of 103rd Avenue and Kendall Drive. According to Rundle, witnesses told police they'd heard a scream and saw Alejandro in the water and rescued him. An hour later, she took him to a different canal where she pushed him in, unfortunately there was no one there to help him.

Witnesses told police they'd seen Ripley next to the lake where the child's body was found.

Ripley faces a first-degree murder charge and is being held without bond.