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Florida mom facing murder charge after autistic son, 9, found dead, police say – Fox News

A Florida woman who authorities say initially told them her 9-year-old son was kidnapped now faces a murder charge in connection with his death.

Patricia Ripley, 47, of West Kendall, was booked into the Miami-Dade County jail early Saturday following hours of questioning by police, the Miami Herald reported.

Her arrest came after her son, Alejandro, was found dead Friday in a pond at the Miccosukee Golf & Country Club, the report said.

BOY WITH AUTISM, 9, FOUND DEAD IN FLORIDA AFTER ABDUCTION; AMBER ALERT CANCELED

An Amber Alert had been issued Thursday night regarding Alejandro, whom authorities were initially told was abducted from outside a Home Depot store

According to the Herald, the suspect told police a car had forced her vehicle off the road near the store, then two men jumped out of the vehicle and demanded drugs. She then said the men grabbed the boy and drove off when she couldn’t comply with their request.

But security footage from the Home Depot shows Ripley sitting alone in her car for 20 minutes before calling police at 8:47 p.m. Thursday, a source told the Herald. The woman eventually admitted being linked to the boy’s death, sources told the paper.

The body of Alejandro Ripley, 9, was found Friday. His mother, Patricia Ripley, 47, is being held in connection with the death. <br data-cke-eol=
(Miami-Dade Department of Corrections and Miami-Dade Police Department)” src=”https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2020/05/640/320/mom.jpg?ve=1&tl=1″>

The body of Alejandro Ripley, 9, was found Friday. His mother, Patricia Ripley, 47, is being held in connection with the death. 

(Miami-Dade Department of Corrections and Miami-Dade Police Department)

No further details of the case were immediately available.

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Ripley was being held without bond, Miami’s WPLG-TV reported.

About two dozen people gathered Friday for a memorial service for the boy outsid

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Afghanistan facing

Afghanistan likely facing coronavirus ‘health disaster’: U.S. watchdog – Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Afghanistan, beset by a poor healthcare system, malnutrition, war and other vulnerabilities, likely is facing a “health disaster” from the coronavirus, a watchdog report to the U.S. Congress warns.

FILE PHOTO: Men wait to receive free food donated by the Afghan government, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Jalalabad, Afghanistan April 28, 2020. REUTERS/Parwiz/File Photo

The report released late on Thursday by Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko could heighten concerns among U.S. officials and lawmakers that the pandemic threatens to derail stalled U.S.-led peace efforts.

The spread of COVID-19 – the illness caused by the novel coronavirus – already has significantly impacted Afghanistan, the report said, from complicating the peace initiative to forcing border crossing closures that have disrupted commercial and humanitarian deliveries.

“Afghanistan’s numerous and, in some cases, unique vulnerabilities – a weak healthcare system, widespread malnutrition, porous borders, massive internal displacement, contiguity with Iran, and ongoing conflict – make it likely the country will confront a health disaster in the coming months,” the report said.

Rising food prices in the impoverished country is likely to worsen the crisis, Sopko said in a letter accompanying the report.

As the pandemic has spread, Washington has pressed the Taliban and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to free thousands of at-risk militant and government prisoners as a precursor to peace talks originally set to begin on March 10.

Kabul, however, was not a party to a Feb. 29 U.S. troop withdrawal deal between the Taliban and Washington that called for the releases. Differences over the pace and numbers of prisoners to be freed have helped stall the peace effort, which could suffer a major blow if many prisoners were to die.

Afghanistan has confirmed nearly 2,200 coronavirus cases and 64 deaths, according to local news reports quoting the Health Ministry.

The report said the NATO-led international coalition declined to make available for public release data on the number of attacks launched by the Taliban in the first three months of 2020.

It was the first time that publication of the data has been denied since SIGAR began using them to track levels and locations of violence in 2018, the report said.

The coalition, it said, explained that the data are “now a critical part” of internal U.S. government deliberations on negotiations with the Taliban, who have escalated attacks on Afghan security forces since the Feb. 29 deal.

Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman on Friday said the data was withheld because they are “part of diplomatic discussions with the Taliban and with State Department and other parties in an effort to bring a diplomatic solution” and releasing them “would not move that ball forward.”

“It will be released in the future,” he added.

Reporting by Jonathan Landay; Additiona reporting by Idrees Ali, Editing by Mary Milliken, Dan Grebler and Bill Berkrot

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