Police in South Florida on Saturday arrested a woman who claimed her 9-year-old autistic son, who was found dead in a pond a day earlier, was kidnapped from her van, authorities said.
Patricia Ripley, 47, was booked into the Miami-Dade County Jail at 2:47 a.m. Saturday, according to jail records. She was charged with first-degree murder in the death of her son, Alejandro Ripley, the Miami Herald reported.
Alejandro Ripley was found dead Friday in a pond at the Miccosukee Golf & Country Club in western Miami-Dade County, the newspaper reported.
The boy was last seen around 8:47 p.m. Thursday in Miami-Dade County, the Sun-Sentinel reported. According to investigators, Ripley claimed her son, who was autistic and nonverbal, was abducted by two men driving a light blue, four-door sedan, the newspaper reported.
Ripley also told police the two men had cut her off while she was driving, forcing her to the side of the road, the Sun-Sentinel reported. Ripley said the men had demanded drugs, and when she said she di not have any they took her cellphone and her son, the newspaper reported.
An Amber Alert for the boy was issued late Thursday but was canceled after Alejandro Ripley’s body was found around 7:50 a.m. Friday, WFTV reported.
According to WPLG-TV, detectives became suspicious after watching surveillance video at a Home Depot in Miami-Dade County. The video showed Patricia Ripley waiting in her parked car for 15 minutes before reporting that her son was missing, the television station reported.
Miami-Dade homicide detectives interviewed Ripley for several hours before arresting her, the Herald reported.