Mother of SW Miami boy found dead charged with murder

Author: Karli Barnett, CBS Miami
Published: Updated:
Patricia Ripley (Miami-Dade Jail/CBS Miami)

The mother of a nine-year-old boy, who reported her son kidnapped, has now been charged with his murder.

Patricia Ripley, 47, was booked into the Miami-Dade jail Saturday morning, around 3 a.m.

She has been charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder.

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle will be holding a press conference at 11 a.m. Saturday to detail the charges against the mother.

On Thursday, Ripley told police she and her son Alejandro, who is autistic and non-verbal, were driving in the area of SW 88th Street and 158th Avenue around 8:30 p.m. She says two men tried to run her off the road, came up to the vehicle demanding drugs, and then took her cellphone and grabbed her son.

Alejandro Ripley (CBS Miami)

This prompted an Amber Alert, which was called off Friday morning when The Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed Alejandro was found dead.

Investigators discovered a body found floating in a lake in the area of SW 62 Street and 138 Court in southwest Miami-Dade at the Miccosukee Golf and Country Club near where the boy was taken.

A law enforcement source tells CBS4 during police questioning, Ripley broke down and admitted to making up the story about the kidnapping, after police found witnesses who claim to have seen her with the child near the lake where the child’s body was eventually found.

At this point, police have not released any details on a possible motive.

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