A Miami mother allegedly faked her son’s abduction by trying to drown him twice, with witnesses rescuing him from the canal the first time and the second time resulting in his death, officials said.
The shocking surveillance video of her first attempt has emerged, showing the woman running with the boy before she pushed him into the water. The video shows her fleeing the scene, only to return 20 seconds later with a witness who rushed to rescue the child from drowning.
Now, Patricia Ripley, 45, is being charged with attempted and premeditated murder and is being held without bond, Local 10 News reported.
The 9-year-old boy, Alejandro Ripley, was autistic and nonverbal. His body was discovered floating in a golf course canal on Friday.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said Ripley tried to drown her son earlier at a different canal, but residents heard yelling and rescued the boy.
“Unfortunately when she took him to the second canal, and there was no one there,” Rundle said in an interview with the Associated Press. “She tried it once, and people rescued him. He was alive. He could have stayed alive. She intended, from all the facts of the case, to kill him.”
Rundle said the medical examiner performed an autopsy on the boy on Saturday to see if he had anything toxic in his system, or if there were any other signs of injury.
“We love Alejandro, and we got aggrieved with whatever they said about my wife. It’s not real,” the father, Aldo Ripley, said after a bond court hearing.
The lawyer, Nelson Rodriguez-Varela, said he was looking to gather a legal team so she could “vindicate her good name.”
“There is obviously a great deal of support for her,” he said. “By all accounts, she has been an excellent mother, an excellent person, a great family as you can see from the people who are here.”
Miami-Dade Police Department said the mother claimed she was ambushed by two black men, who took away her son and demanded drugs before fleeing Thursday night.
But she provided conflicting statements, according to an arrest affidavit, and was confronted with the video and witness testimony of the boy being pushed into the canal.
The document stated that she took back her original story and led the boy to another canal, saying, “He’s going to be in a better place.”