A video of a Miami woman who has been charged with murder in her autistic son’s death has surfaced showing what police say was her first attempt to kill the child.
Patricia Ripley faces charges of attempted first-degree murder, premeditated murder and first-degree murder of her 9-year-old son Alejandro.
In a video obtained by Univision, a woman identified as Ripley is seen walking a child to the bank of a canal in suburban West Kendall and then forcefully shoving him into the water.
The woman runs off before returning about 20 seconds later with a bystander who saw the boy in the water, and they rescued him.
WARNING: The following video is disturbing.
Authorities said this was Ripley’s first attempt to kill her son on May 21, the Miami Herald reported Monday.
Alejandro was led to a different canal an hour later where he died, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle told reporters.
The medical examiner’s office has ruled the cause of his death as drowning.
Ripley originally told Miami-Dade police that two black men had kidnapped her son after a light blue car ran her off the road near a Home Depot.
Authorities issued an Amber alert for Alejandro but began to get suspicious when Ripley gave different accounts of what happened.
His mother’s story was considered suspect from the start.
Now, arrest details show- it gets even worse (if that’s possible).
Patricia Ripley tried *twice* to drown her son.
The 1st time, witnesses rescued him.
The 2nd time, she succeeded.@WPLGLocal10 https://t.co/VstsrwKtWm pic.twitter.com/BEx6oBaVds
— Glenna Milberg (@GlennaWPLG) May 23, 2020
The boy’s body was found the following morning in a canal near a golf and country club about four miles from where the alleged abduction took place.
However, security camera footage at the Home Depot from the night before showed Ripley sitting in her car without Alejandro for 20 minutes before calling the police.
After hours of interrogation, Ripley confessed that she made up the kidnapping story and led Alejandro to the canal where he drowned.
She told police that “he’s going to be in a better place.”
UPDATE: Patricia Ripley, the West Kendall mother who initially claimed her severely autistic 9-year-old son had been kidnapped, ultimately admitted she was to blame for the child’s death at a canal and “he’s going to be in a better place” police said. https://t.co/InqE1m0tIg
— Miami Herald (@MiamiHerald) May 23, 2020
A law enforcement officer told WFOR-TV in Miami that Ripley confessed to thinking about killing her autistic son for a while because he was more difficult to control physically as he got older.
In recent months, the mother said she had been overwhelmed caring for her son in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Her attorney, Nelson Rodriguez-Varela, said he will discuss all of the evidence at another time when Ripley has “her day in court.”
“At this time, we’re assembling a legal team in order to make sure that her rights are respected and she has the opportunity to vindicate her good name,” Rodriguez-Varela said.
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