Murder charge for mom who said autistic son was abducted

A Florida mother who told police that her 9-year-old son with autism was abducted from the parking lot of a Home Depot in Miami has now been charged in his murder.

Patricia Ripley was taken into custody late Friday night and charged with first-degree murder in the death of her son, Alejandro Ripley.

Alejandro, who was nonverbal, was found dead Friday morning, hours after authorities issued an Amber Alert and launched an intensive search for him.

Alejandro Ripley. (Miami-Dade Police Department)
Alejandro Ripley. (Miami-Dade Police Department)

"We are very sad to report that the child was found deceased," the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said.

Ripley told Miami-Dade police that she and her son were followed and ambushed Thursday night by two men in a vehicle who demanded drugs.

"The driver of the unknown vehicle attempted to side-swipe her vehicle," police said in a statement. "The vehicle then blocked her in while a male passenger ambushed her, demanding drugs."

Ripley said she told the men she didn't have any drugs and that they then stole her cellphone and abducted Alejandro.

A child's body was found about four miles from where the Alejandro was reported taken, the Miami-Dade police said.