Family of mother accused in killing of boy with autism speaks out

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - The family of a Southwest Miami-Dade woman accused in the killing of her 9-year-old son with autism said they are in shock and disbelief, but they want her to have the opportunity to have her day in court.

7News cameras captured Aldo Ripley as he broke down in tears and was consoled by a relative, Saturday morning, hours after his wife, Patricia Ripley, was arrested and charged in the murder of their 9-year-old son Alejandro.

“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,” said Aldo. “It’s not real.”

Patricia is facing charges of first-degree murder and attempted premeditated murder.

“It’s a tremendous tragedy what has occurred,” said the family’s attorney, Nelson A. Rodriguez-Varela.

“It’s very, very sad,” said Mary Angel Motiero, a neighbor of the Ripleys.

According to Miami-Dade Police, Patricia reported Alejandro was kidnapped at knifepoint by two men near Southwest 158th Avenue and 88th Street in Southwest Miami-Dade, at around 9 p.m. on Thursday.

“One or two blocks from my house, so it’s crazy,” said Motiero.

The next day, the boy was found dead in a canal near the Miccosukee Golf and Country Club.

But after further investigation, homicide detectives said, they found evidence that Patricia lied about what happened and was the one responsible for her son’s death.

​​The arrest report states that once confronted by police, the mother confessed.

Many in the family’s neighborhood said they’re still in shock.

“It was horrible for the family and for the neighborhood,” said Motiero.

Alejandro’s brother posted a message on Instagram that reads in part, “For those who know my family, brother, mother, father, you guys know. Thank you and God bless.”

“It’s a very difficult situation for the family. Everybody is very affected,” said Rodriguez-Varela.

The attorney is asking the public not to jump to conclusions.

“At this time, we are assembling a legal team in order to make sure her rights are respected and that she has the opportunity to vindicate her good name,”​ he said.

Rodriguez-Varela said Patricia’s family is very tight-knit, and they are standing behind her.

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