Miami-Dade County

Miami-Dade Mother Accused of Drowning Son Faces First Degree Murder Charge

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What to Know

  • Patricia Ripley, mother of 9-year-old Alejandro Ripley, was arrested for the alleged murder of her autistic, non-verbal son last month
  • Police say Patricia tried to drown her son twice, and succeeded in killing him on the second attempt
  • The state is seeking an indictment of Patricia on one count of first degree murder, and her attorney said she will plead 'not guilty'

The Miami-Dade woman who allegedly tried to drown her 9-year-old-son behind an apartment complex before succeeding in killing him at another location last month will plead 'not guilty' to a first degree murder charge, her attorney said Friday.

The state of Florida is officially seeking an indictment of Patricia Ripley on one count of first degree murder, officials confirmed Friday.

Ripley is pleading 'not guilty' and will demand discovery, her attorney said. The written pleadings have already been filed.

On Thursday, May 21st, Ripley allegedly took her son Alejandro to a lake behind a housing complex near 103rd Avenue and Kendall Drive and attempted to leave him in the water to drown.

At the time, witnesses told NBC 6 that they saw a person run into the lake to rescue the young boy after neighbors had screamed for help.

Police say video footage confirms that Ripley pushed her son into the water and left him there, by himself. The boy had autism and was non-verbal.

That same evening, Ripley allegedly succeeded in killing her son at another location, a golf course canal, where his body was discovered by authorities on Friday, May 22nd.

An arrest form said that upon arrest, Ripley provided “conflicting statements." She was then shown the video footage police had obtained of her first attempt to leave the boy into the water.

The form said the woman recanted her story and admitted she drove to another site and led the boy into the canal, stating “he's going to be in a better place.”

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