Shocking new video appears to show a Florida mom shoving her 9-year-old autistic son into a canal and then running away as he struggles in the water in what authorities believe was her first attempt to murder the boy, who drowned later that day.
About 20 seconds after she runs from the canal, the surveillance footage obtained by Univision’s national news network, shows the woman reappear with a bystander, who dives into the canal and rescues the boy.
But just about an hour later, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said Patricia Ripley led her son to another canal where he died, according to The Miami Herald.
Ripley has been charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder after Alejandro Ripley’s body was pulled from the water the next day, local station WPLG reports.
Authorities quickly launched an Amber Alert in an attempt to locate the non-verbal autistic boy—but investigators soon became suspicious of Ripley’s story.
Miami-Dade Police said the mother of two allegedly confessed later that she led the boy to the canal a second time because she believed he was going “to be in a better place” and had been overwhelmed with the demands of caring for him, the local paper reports.
The shocking video footage appears to show Ripley and her young son walking along the bank of the West Kendall canal Thursday evening as she strokes his hair.
But after looking around, the woman shoves the boy into the water and quickly runs away.
She returns a short time later with a man, who leaps into the water to rescue the 9-year-old. Police believe it was her first attempt to kill the child and said she later headed to another canal at the Miccosukee Golf and Country Club where the 9-year-old ended up in the water and died.
“This time, unfortunately, there was no one there to save him,” Fernandez Rundle, said according to CBS Miami.
The Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled Alejandro died from drowning.
“The death of a child is tragic; the killing of a child is horrific,” Fernandez Rundle said, according to a statement on social media.
Ripley appeared briefly in court Saturday morning. Outside the courthouse, her husband Aldo made a statement defending his wife.
“We love our life. We love Alejandro and we don’t agree with what they said about my wife. It’s not real,” he said.
Aldo said the family was currently assembling a legal team to help his wife “vindicate her good name.”
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