The 15-year-old boy’s story just didn’t “add up,” a Florida sheriff said early Saturday.
Gregory Logan Ramos had told police he came home from school to a ransacked home— his mom missing, and her van still running in the driveway. The burglars must have taken her, he told Volusia County Sheriff’s Office investigators.
But cops weren’t buying Ramos’ story, and when the boy was questioned, he confessed to the crime — strangling his mother, 46-year-old Gail Cleavenger, late Thursday night, then using a wheelbarrow to load her into her van and bury her beneath a fire pit at River City Church in DeBary, just northeast of Orlando, police said.
The boy’s reason? The mother and son had gotten into an argument over a “D” grade he got at school, police said, adding that Ramos got upset after his mother called his father, who was out of town on a business trip.
The teen was charged with the murder Saturday morning after police obtained the boy’s “full and detailed confession.”
“The case we worked tonight was one of the most disturbing and saddest I’ve seen in my career,” Sheriff Mike Chitwood said in a Friday evening 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.
Ramos ultimately told detectives that he got two friends to help him stage the burglary — 17-year-olds Dylan Ceglarek and Brian Porras, who police say are also facing multiple criminal charges.
Nearby the home, deputies recovered the dumped property that was removed from the home in the fake burglary – computers and other electronics including a Playstation 4, a rifle and other items. Deputies also recovered a shovel and broom used to bury Cleavenger and straighten up the scene around the fire pit.
Detectives ultimately found Cleavenger’s body in her burial site at River City Church in the early-morning hours Saturday.
“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,” Chitwood said. “God bless Gail Cleavenger and all who knew and loved her.”