AUTISTIC nine-year-old boy Alejandro Ripley "had signs of head trauma" after he died when "mom pushed him in canal to drown."
The manner of death has been ruled a homicide, Forensic Investigator Daniel Cerna said in an email, obtained by Local10.
Sources also told the outlet that said he had head trauma.
On Monday, a video, which was obtained by Univision, showed Patricia Ripley walking Alejandro to the bank of canal, looking around, stroking his head and then shoving him into the water.
Ripley then runs off screen, before returning 20 seconds later with a bystander who saw the child in the water.
Authorities told the Miami Herald that the shove was Ripley’s first, but thwarted, attempt to kill her son on Thursday evening.
About an hour later, with no bystanders to rescue him, the boy was led into another canal, where he ultimately died, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle told the outlet.
Patricia Ripley, 47, from Florida initially told cops two unknown men had cut her off in traffic on Thursday night in Miami before kidnapping her son, Alejandro Ripley.
But witness statements and surveillance footage show video of a woman, believed to Ripley pushing little Alejandro into a canal at the Kendall Acres Condominium complex around 7:30 pm that night.
Local News 10 reported that neighbors there came to his rescue before he could drown the first time — but investigators said his ordeal didn't end there.
After her son was rescued, Ripley allegedly found another canal at the Miccosukee Golf and Country Club in Miami, which is where she led her young son into the water, cops say.
Alejandro's lifeless body was found floating there at 7:50 am on Friday.
He was still wearing his Captain America t-shirt.
One witness, who didn't want to be named, told Local10 that he saw the boy in a canal behind the Kendall Acres Condominiums at 103rd Avenue and Kendall Drive before his body was eventually pulled from another canal near the Miccosukee Golf and Country Club on Kendale Lakes Drive.
However, the witness said he initially did not think anything criminal was taking place.
"Kids fall in the canal all the time. We’ve lived here for 25 years," he said.
"Usually you grab them, yank them out and away you go."
"The only odd thing was she kind of started screaming and called his name, and then turned around and ran off screaming."
The witness told the outlet that Alejandro was sitting in the water that was chest high.
"He was just sitting there, and I tried to speak to him a couple times and he looked at me, and that’s when she returned with an older couple," the man said.
"And, at the time, I thought they were together because that woman was giving it to her, screaming, ‘What are you doing? Why’d you leave the kid there?’”
Ripley reportedly confessed that she lured her son into the canal twice when the footage came to light and witnesses placed her at the scene, according to court documents cited by CNN.
"She stated he's going to be in a better place," the Miami-Dade County Police said in an arrest affidavit.
"[Her] statements … contradicted the statements of witnesses and the video footage obtained from the area.
"Upon being confronted with this information, the defendant recanted her initial story including that she had been robbed."
The Sun previously reported how Ripley claimed one of the robbers, whom she described as two black men, walked up to her and demanded drugs.
She claimed they grabbed severely autistic Alejandro and her cellphone and fled when she said she did not have any.
A massive search ensued but came to a halt 12 hours later when a witness called police about a child's body floating in a canal on the golf course, about four miles from where the alleged abduction occurred.
On Saturday morning, Patricia's husband, Aldo Ripley told 7News: "The only thing I’ll say is that we love our life, we love Alejandro, and we don’t agree with whatever they say about my wife. It’s not real."
Defense Attorney Nelson Rodriguez Varela insisted that the allegations made in court documents don't prove Ripley's guilt, however.
"At this point the contents of the arrest affidavit are merely allegations and not proof of Mrs. Ripley's guilt," Varela told CNN. "Any conclusion about the case is grossly premature."
Miami-Dade County Corrections records stated Ripley was arrested and booked in the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on Saturday.
Judge Oscar Rodriguez Fonts of Miami-Dade County’s Eleventh Judicial Circuit court ruled there was "probable cause" to keep her in jail, handing down a no bond order.
Ripley was charged with with first-degree murder and first-degree premeditated attempted murder.
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