Shocking surveillance footage aired on Univision appears to show a Florida woman attempting to kill her nonverbal autistic son by shoving him into a canal. Authorities say this was Patricia Ripley’s first, unsuccessful attempt at killing her 9-year-old boy, Alejandro.
The video shows Ripley, 45, pulling Alejandro along a Miami canal, looking around, and then shoving him into the water before running away. Shortly after, Ripley returns with a bystander, who jumps into the canal to rescue the boy.
About an hour later, Ripley allegedly took Alejandro to a different canal, where he died. The Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Alejandro’s death as drowning.
WARNING: Video footage at the bottom of this post may be disturbing to some readers.
The video appears to be taken from a nearby condo complex and will be used as evidence against Ripley in her trial for first-degree murder and attempted murder. She’s currently in a Miami-Dade jail, the Miami Herald reports.
On Thursday, Ripley called the police and reported that a light blue car had run her off the road. She claimed that one man left the car to demand drugs from her at knifepoint, only to take her cellphone, tablet, and her son. State authorities issued an Amber Alert, but investigators grew suspicious after Ripley gave varying accounts of her original report.
The next day, Alejandro’s body was found in a canal — four miles from where the alleged abduction took place. Detectives discovered that Ripley was seen with the boy at a nearby canal and that the bystander who rescued Alejandro was told not to call 911.
The Miami Herald also reports that additional footage from a nearby Home Depot showed Ripley sitting in her car alone for 20 minutes before she called police Thursday night.
During interrogation, detectives confronted Ripley with the footage. She admitted she’d made up the kidnapping story, according to an arrest report. She ultimately confessed to leading the boy to the canal where he died, and said, “he’s going to be in a better place.”
Prior to the video’s release, Ripley’s family publicly supported her.
“We love Alejandro and we don’t agree about whatever they said about my wife,” her husband, Aldo Ripley, told reporters after a court hearing on Saturday. “It’s not real.”
GRAPHIC VIDEO WARNING: Footage may be disturbing to some viewers.