Newly released video appears to show the Florida woman accused of killing her son with autism pushing the boy into a canal — in what authorities say was a first, but thwarted, murder attempt.
The shocking surveillance footage, obtained and aired by Univision on Sunday, seems to show Patricia Ripley pulling 9-year-old Alejandro along the bank of a Miami canal, looking around — and then shoving him into the waters before running away.
About 20 seconds later, Ripley returns with a bystander, who jumps into the canal to rescue the boy.
Authorities said this was Ripley’s first attempt at drowning her son on Thursday evening, The Miami Herald reported Monday.
About an hour later, she allegedly led him into a different canal, where he died.
Police said Ripley, 45, initially claimed that two men side-swiped her car while she was driving with Alejandro — and that they then demanded drugs and abducted her son, who had autism and was nonverbal.
But witnesses and video footage contradicted her claims, and she later allegedly confessed to leading the boy into a canal, where he drowned, telling cops: “he’s going to be in a better place.”
Investigators believe Ripley, a married mom of two, became overwhelmed with caring for Alejandro, who had been receiving therapy at the family’s home in recent months.
She’s being held in a Miami-Dade jail on charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder.
Prior to the video’s release, relatives had stood behind Ripley, who could face the death penalty.
“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 Saturday. “It’s not real.”
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