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Police: Boy found dead hours after mom said he was abducted

Alejandro Ripley

MIAMI — A 9-year-old autistic boy has been found dead hours after his mother told police he was abducted by two men who “ambushed” her during a late-night drive south of Miami, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed Friday.

An Amber Alert that had been issued for Alejandro Ripley was canceled on Friday morning. News outlets reported a body was pulled from a canal near the Miccosukee Golf & Country Club, about 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) from the spot he was allegedly abducted.

Miami-Dade police said the child’s mother, Patricia Ripley, 47, told investigators she was driving around 9 p.m. Thursday when she noticed she was being followed by a vehicle.

Ripley told investigators the driver tried to side-swipe her car, forcing her to veer onto another road. The car then blocked her vehicle and a passenger got out and demanded drugs from her, police said.

According to police, Ripley told the man she didn’t have any drugs. At that point he took her son and her cellphone.

Authorities said the boy had autism and was non-verbal.

Police said Thursday night they were searching for the vehicle and the two men Ripley described.

An investigation is continuing. No additional details were immediately available.

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