SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - UPDATE: 9-year-old Alejandro Ripley was found dead, officials confirmed. For the latest developments on the story, click here.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has issued an AMBER Alert for a 9-year-old boy with autism who has been abducted from the parking lot of a Southwest Miami-Dade Home Depot.
Miami-Dade Police responded to the scene along the 15000 block of Southwest 88th Street just before 9 p.m., Thursday.
Investigators said Alejandro Ripley was in a vehicle with his mother as they drove down the road when she noticed someone was following them.
Shortly after, she told police two men forced her off the road, blocking her vehicle in.
A passenger in the vehicle is said to have gotten out of the car, came over to Ripley’s mother, pushed her and demanded drugs.
Once she told the man she did not have drugs, that is when she said they took her cellphone and pulled Ripley out from inside the car.
“I saw the police, so I tried to ask somebody, and they told me they kidnapped a kid,” a store employee said. “They took objects from the mother, and it’s really impressive how you see these things happen in Miami because you don’t expect somebody to get kidnapped here in Miami, so it’s very frustrating to think that happens here.”
Alejandro is described as standing 4 feet, 11 inches tall, weighing 120 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a blue Captain America shirt, black shorts, and black Crocs shoes.
Investigators added that Alejandro has a scar on his left leg and is non-verbal.
“We are asking the community’s assistance for any information to help recover this child,” said Miami-Dade Police Det. Angel Rodriguez. “Please, it is a 9-year-old autistic boy. It can be your child.”
FDLE said he was abducted by two men driving a light blue sedan.
7News cameras captured multiple police cruisers outside of the store, and a helicopter could be heard flying over the scene.
Police have blocked off the parking lot’s entrances and exits, and they are not letting people leave or enter the area.
If you have any information on Alejandro’s whereabouts, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS or dial 911.
Please check back on WSVN.com and 7News for more details on this developing story.
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