A 9-year-old boy with autism, who was reported abducted from a Home Depot parking lot, was found dead Friday morning, hours after an intense search for him had been launched, authorities said.
"The Florida Amber Alert for Alejandro Ripley has been cancelled. We are very sad to report that the child was found deceased," the Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced in a statement on Friday morning.
The boy's mother, Patricia Ripley, 47, told police she and her son were followed and ambushed by two men in a vehicle who demanded drugs on Thursday night.
"The driver of the unknown vehicle attempted to side-swipe her vehicle," a police statement said. "The vehicle then blocked her in while a male passenger ambushed her, demanding drugs."
"After stating she didn't have any drugs, he then stole her cellular phone and abducted her son, fleeing southbound in the unknown vehicle," the statement said.
Shortly after midnight, authorities issued an Amber Alert and asked the public to keep an eye out for the boy — but not to approach the abductors.
A child's body was found Friday morning about four miles from where Alejandro was reported taken, said Miami-Dade police.
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