A 45-year-old mother from Miami, Florida was arrested by authorities after it was discovered that she was the one who killed her 9-year-old nonverbal and autistic son.
Shifting the blame
The suspect, Patricia Ripley, initially told the police that her 9-year-old son, Alejandro Ripley, was kidnapped by two black men in Florida, as the said men side-swiped her car while she was driving with her son on May 21, at around 9 p.m.
Ripley said that the men demanded drugs and kidnapped her son, who has autism and is nonverbal. However, after witness statements contradicted her story and after video footage surfaced that she was lying, Ripley later admitted in an interrogation that it was her who killed her son.
According to the Miami-Dade County Police's affidavit, she stated that her son is going to be in a better place. Ripley was immediately arrested and was charged with first-degree murder and first-degree premeditated attempted murder, as stated in the affidavit.
Defense attorney Nelson Rodriguez Varela said in a statement that the contents of the arrest affidavit of Ripley are just allegations and that there is no proof that she's guilty of murder, and any conclusion about the child's murder is premature.
Atty. Varela added that Ripley is a good woman and a good mother who always looked after the best interest of Alejandro. She added that it is not the time to rush judgment in the matter since the case is in its preliminary stage. She also said that Ripley is innocent as any person who is charged with a crime until she is proven guilty.
In the affidavit, Ripley told the police that the driver of the car had a knife and that he got out of the vehicle and demanded drugs from her. When she couldn't give them any, the man opened the door of her car and took her cellphone and table, and they abducted the child.
Alejandro's body was found just hours after the kidnapping was reported, and he was still wearing a Captain America T-shirt, according to the Miami-Dade State Attorney, Katherine Fernandez Rundle. When Ripley was taken to the missing person's office, she began giving conflicting statements about the events, the authorities said.
Ripley was immediately taken to the homicide bureau where she was read her Miranda rights. The police said in the affidavit that the statements of the suspect contradicted the statements of the witnesses and video footage that surfaced shows the suspect pushing the child into a canal around 7:30 p.m on May 21.
The residents that live nearby head screaming and the found the child in the canal and rescued him. The police showed the video footage that they retrieved from the area and when the suspect was confronted, she recanted her first story, including the part where she was robbed.
An hour later, Ripley took her son to a different canal and it was where the boy drowned. Ripley was arrested and booked in the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on May 23, according to the Miami-Dade County Corrections records.