Dead boy’s mom arrested in his murder after faking abduction, police say

Police: ‘He is going to be in a better place,’ mother said after confessing to murder

Detectives are accusing Patricia Ripley, 45, right of killing her 9-year-old son, Alejandro.
Detectives are accusing Patricia Ripley, 45, right of killing her 9-year-old son, Alejandro. (Miami-Dade Department of Corrections and Miami-Dade Police Department)

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Nine-year-old Alejandro Ripley is dead. And in a sinister twist, detectives and prosecutors are accusing his mother, Patricia Ripley, of killing him in southwest Miami-Dade County.

A day after she told police officers two men had abducted her son, the 45-year-old mother arrived at Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center to face charges of first-degree murder and attempted premeditated murder. She is being held on Saturday without bond.

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said the mother lied about the abduction. She said detectives found a video showing she pushed Alejandro about 7:30 p.m. Thursday into a canal at 103rd Avenue and Kendall Drive. Witnesses rescued him the first time, Fernandez Rundle said.

The second crime scene was at a canal at Southwest 62nd Street and 138th Court. Detectives said Patricia Ripley admitted to driving there about 8:30 p.m. and pushing Alejandro into the pond-like canal at the Miccosukee Golf and Country Club where he drowned.

“This time, unfortunately, there was no one there to save him,” Fernandez Rundle said.

Alejandro was an autism spectrum disorder patient. Miami-Dade Police Department Director Alfredo Ramirez III said he was heartbroken. Alejandro was a non-verbal boy and his mother was supposed to be his voice, he said.

“He is going to be in a better place,” Patricia Ridley said during her confession, according to detectives.

When she appeared in Miami-Dade court on Saturday, Alejandro’s father, Aldo Ripley, was there in tears.

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