A 9-year-old Florida child with autism has been found dead just hours after his mother says he was abducted by two men in a Home Depot parking lot.
Patricia Ripley and her son Alejandro Ripley were driving down a Miami-Dade roadway when a car apparently tried to sideswipe her, CBS Miami reported. She later told investigators that she pulled over to a lot near a Home Depot, where the driver of the aggressive car pulled in front of her and blocked her vehicle.
“The passenger of the vehicle exits the vehicle, approaches the mother, and demands drugs,” Miami-Dade Police Detective Angel Rodriguez told CBS Miami. “She says she does not have any drugs. And so the passenger at that point reaches in, grabs her cell phone, steals her cell phone, and takes her child.”
A frantic search alert began and an Amber Alert was issued for Alejandro, who is non-verbal and has autism, according to the Miami-Dade Police Department.
However, that search ended tragically when the boy was found dead, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed to Oxygen.com Friday.
A body of a child was found close to where Alejandro was abducted Friday morning, police reported. It was found floating in a lake, CBS Miami reports. However, police have not said if the body found in the lake is Alejandro's body.
The two kidnappers are believed to have been driving a blue four-door sedan. Police do not believe the two men were armed. Patricia told investigators that she did not recognize the men, who have been described as two black men, according to ClickOrlando. One of the alleged abductors is believed to have been wearing all black clothing and a black bandanna over his face.
The boy’s family, as well as Home Depot employees, have been questioned as part of the investigation.
Anyone with information about the case is urged to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.