Video has emerged of a mum appearing to push her son into a canal before he was found dead.
Patricia Ripley, 45, allegedly pushed her autistic, nonverbal son Alejandro Ripley, 9, into a canal in the US state of Florida on Thursday.
In an interview Saturday, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said Ripley allegedly tried to drown her son an hour earlier at a different canal but nearby residents heard yelling and rescued him.
Then, Ms Fernandez Rundle said, Ripley drove Alejandro to another canal.
Authorities told The Miami Herald the video, obtained by TV network Univision, was Ripley’s first attempt at killing Alejandro.
He was later found dead floating in a canal near a golf club on Friday.
It’s not clear how the boy managed to get back into his mother’s care before she allegedly killed him.
But Ms Fernandez Rundle believes it’s because he couldn’t say anything to the people who rescued him the first time.
“We talk about children being voiceless,” she said.
“This is another level of voicelessness. He was incapable of saying that ‘mummy put me in the water’.”
Ripley told authorities her son had been abducted.
She’s facing attempted and premeditated murder charges. The mum could also face the death penalty.
Alejandro’s dad, Aldo Ripley, broke down in tears after a bond court hearing.
Between sobs, he said: “We love Alejandro, and we got aggrieved with whatever they said about my wife. It’s not real.”
An arrest affidavit says she provided “conflicting statements,” and finally was confronted with testimonies of witnesses and video footage showing the first attempt to push the boy into the canal.
The document says she recanted her story and admitted she drove to another site and led the boy into a different canal stating: “he’s going to be in a better place”.
with Associated Press
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