A Florida teen is being accused of strangling his mom and burying her body in a fire pit after a dispute over a bad grade turned deadly.
Gregory Logan Ramos, 15, confessed to killing his 46-year-old mom Gail Cleavenger by strangling her in the family's home late Thursday night, according to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office. Authorities said he then used a wheelbarrow to load her body into her van, enlisted the help of two friends, and then drove to the River City Church in DeBary, Florida where he allegedly buried her body under a fire pit, according to a police statement.
Ramos later staged a burglary and called police to report his mom missing after school on Friday, authorities said.
"The case we worked on tonight was one of the most disturbing and saddest I've seen in my career," Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said in the statement. "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 told the media Ramos, who was a member of a police explorers club in Orange City, came home from a group event at the fairgrounds Thursday and got into a "loud" and "contentious" argument with his mother over his grades, particularly a D he had received in one of his subjects. After the argument, he went into his room. Around midnight, it's alleged that he came out of his room, went into his mother's room and strangled her.
Chitwood said Ramos allegedly believed his mother was dead and went to get a wheel barrow to retrieve her body, but when he returned he noticed she was still alive and strangled her again.
"He used his bare hands, which by his estimate, it took him 30 minutes to kill her," he said.
He allegedly dragged her body around the house and outside and loaded her into the wheelbarrow. After disposing of the wheelbarrow outside of town, Chitwood said Ramos enlisted the help of two of his friends, both 17, to help him dispose of the body and stage a burglary. They buried the body at the church, where they had hung out in the past, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
The group also took several items from the home, including a PlayStation, a firearm and some electronics and hid them in the woods near the body to further the robbery-gone-bad ruse they planned to use the next day.
Chitwood said the three teens then went to a local Circle K to have a "celebratory soda" after burying the body.
The next morning, Ramos went to school and called police after he came home that afternoon to report that his mom was missing, the house had been ransacked and her van was still running in the driveway. He'd later tell authorities he deserved a Grammy for the "way he performed for the 911 call," Chitwood said.
But deputies who arrived at the scene were suspicious of Ramos' demeanor and allegedly got him to confess to the crime during an interrogation.
"There was no sign of remorse whatsoever. He was a soulless individual who thought he was the smartest person in the room," Chitwood said.
Ramos was charged Sunday with first-degree premeditated murder and is currently being held in a juvenile detention center. It hasn't been decided yet whether he will be charged as an adult, according to Spectrum News 13.
His friends have been charged with being accessories to the crime.
[Photo: Volusia County Sheriff's Office]
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.