ORLANDO, Fla. — A Florida teen has been charged with murder after strangling his mother to death following an argument over a bad grade and then burying her under a fire pit at a local church.
The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office announced on Saturday that Gregory Ramos, 15, provided a full confession to authorities.
“Gregory Logan Ramos confessed to killing 46-year-old Gail Cleavenger by strangling her at the family’s home late Thursday night, then using a wheelbarrow to load her into her van and burying her beneath a fire pit at River City Church early Friday morning,” it outlined.
Sheriff Mike Chitwood also explained during a press conference that Ramos had been in an argument with his mother over a “D” grade in school, and was especially upset after she called his stepfather, who was away on a business trip.
Around midnight, Ramos went to his mother’s room and proceeded to strangle her with his bare hands. He went to retrieve a wheelbarrow to remove her body, and realized that she wasn’t dead, so he strangled her again.
Ramos later called two of his friends to help him bury the body behind River City Church in DeBary, and the three concocted a plan to stage a robbery at the home so it would look like someone else committed the crime.
“Then, they all [went] to a Circle K in the area and had a celebratory soda to celebrate the fact that Mom’s dead and buried, and this is what we’re going to do,” Chitwood outlined.
The next day, after returning home from school, Ramos called 911 to report that his mother was missing and the house had been burglarized, but his story did not add up to police. He eventually confessed to officers, but with “no sign of remorse whatsoever,” Chitwood said.
“He was a soulless individual who thought he was the smartest person in the room and was going to outsmart 700 years of policing,” Chitwood remarked. “He also stated that he believed he deserved a Grammy [award] for the way that he performed with the 911 call.”
“Of all the work that I’ve done, he’s probably one of the top three sociopaths that I’ve ever come across,” he lamented. “We brought him out here last night to reenact the crime scene and you might have thought he was going on national television. He was so happy with himself that he was out and was getting his moment in the sun, and wanted to tell everybody how smart he was for what he did to his mom.”
Sgt. C.J. Pagliari, who questioned Ramos, also told reporters that the teen remarked that he thought it was “dope” that he was going to be handcuffed, and boasted about how good the staged burglary was.
Chitwood said that he was grieved at how matter-of-factly Ramos admitted to the crime, and even told police that he thought about cutting his mother’s finger off so he could take her wedding ring and pawn it, and use the money to flee to Michigan.
“Fifteen, is what the scary part of all this is. Fifteen years old,” he mourned. “It’s just unbelievable. The woman brings you into the world, and does everything humanly possible for you, and your reward is to strangle her…”
Ramos has been charged with first-degree murder, and his two friends, Dylan Ceglarek and Brian Porras, both 17, have been charged with being an accessory to murder.
In speaking on the Adamic sin nature inherent in all men, the late Anglican preacher J.C. Ryle once exhorted, “Never listen to those who tell you your children are good, and well brought up, and can be trusted. Rather, remember that their hearts are always ready to burst into flame like dry tinder. At their very best, they only need a spark to ignite their evil. Parents are seldom too cautious. Remember the natural depravity of your children, and be careful.”
In Mark 7:20-23 Jesus outlined that murder, like all sin, begins in the heart. It is why He declared that men must be born again (John 3:3) and have their very nature changed, or they cannot see the Kingdom of God.
“That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man,” Jesus said. “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”