A 15-year-old boy from Florida has been arrested on murder charges after confessing to strangling his mother, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said.
On Saturday morning, the office said in a statement on Facebook that Gregory Logan Ramos confessed to killing his 46-year-old mother, Gail Cleavenger, at the family’s home in DeBary.
After killing his mother during the early hours of Friday morning, Ramos transported her body to a local church and buried her “beneath a fire pit” before going back to their house and enlisting “the help of two friends, also juveniles, to stage a burglary scene,” officials said.
Detectives identified Ramos’ friends as Dylan Ceglarek and Brian Porras, both 17. The two boys are in custody and are “facing multiple criminal charges.”
The next day, after coming home from school, Ramos called the authorities to report that his home had been burglarized, telling them that “his mom was missing and her van was still running in the driveway,” the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said.
In a news briefing on Friday, Sheriff Mike Chitwood said that prior to murdering his mother, Ramos and Cleavenger had gotten into “a dispute” about the fact that he had gotten a D in school.
Cleavenger then called the boy’s father, who was away in Seattle at the time, and went to bed after the phone call was over, police said.
During a second press conference, the sheriff said that “probably around midnight, he came out of his room and went into his mother’s room, where he proceeded to strangle her and thought she was dead.”
However, after the boy procured a wheelbarrow to help remove his mother’s body, he realized that his mother was still alive, authorities said.
“So he went back to strangle her again. Keep in mind, he didn’t strangle her with a rope, he used his bare hands, which by his estimate, took him 30 minutes to kill her,” Chitwood said.
After the boys successfully buried Ramos’ mother, they allegedly had “a celebratory soda” before going their separate ways.
The sheriff went on to reveal that authorities received a call from Ramos after he came home from school on Friday, and that it quickly became clear that his story didn’t add up.
During his confession, Ramos showed “no sign of remorse whatsoever,” Chitwood said.
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In addition to recovering some of the items Damos and his friends removed from the home in order to stage the robbery, deputies were able to recover a shovel, used to bury Clevenger, as well as a broom, which was used to “straighten up the scene around the fire pit,” according to detectives.
Early on Saturday morning, detectives were able to locate Cleavenger’s body, and Chitwood announced during the press briefing that authorities would begin exhuming her body that day.
“The case we worked tonight was one of the most disturbing and saddest I’ve seen in my career. I have a feeling this is a case we’ll be hearing about for years to come. All our hearts break for this family,” Chitwood wrote on Twitter.
“The deputies and detectives who worked through the night and into the morning gave this case absolutely everything they had, and I hope the family knows that Gail has all of us fighting for justice for her. God bless Gail Cleavenger and all who knew and loved her,” he added.