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Patricia Ripley, Mother Accused Of Drowning Autistic Son In Canal, Faces Death Penalty

MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — A grand jury has indicted Miami mother, Patricia Ripley, for first-degree murder in the drowning death of 9-year-old son with autism and prosecutors say they'll pursue the death penalty.

Under Florida law, only someone who is indicted by a grand jury can receive the death penalty.

She's accused of the May 21 death of Alejandro Ripley. The boy suffered from severe autism and couldn't speak.

Alejandro Ripley
Alejandro Ripley (Source: Miami-Dade Police)

Police say his mother initially called 911 and said two Black men took her son after running her off a road and took the boy. The call led to an Amber Alert.

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His body was found the next day in a canal a few miles away.

However, police have surveillance video which they say shows Ripley pushing the boy into a  canal, but witnesses rescued him and sent them on their way.

After that, prosecutors say, she drove him to another canal at a Kendall Lakes golf course, where he drowned.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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