- Ramos was just 15 when he brutally strangled his mother to death at their DeBary home on November 2, 2018
- The killer buried his mom under a church fire pit and after staged the scene to look like a break in
- Disturbing footage has since been released revealing chilling details on the case – including how he tried to hack his mom’s finger off to pawn her wedding ring
Chilling video shows a Florida teen calmly explaining how he strangled his mother to death and buried her under a church fire pit after they got into a fight about his grades.
Gregory Ramos, was just 15 when he murdered his mom Gail Cleavenger, 46, at their home in DeBary in November 2018 before staging the scene to look like a break in.
He was sentenced to 45 years in jail in January 2021 over the horrific killing, after pleading guilty to first-degree murder, abuse of a body and tampering with evidence.
Now footage of his confession reveals disturbing new details in the case, including how he tried to cut off his mom’s finger to pawn her wedding ring, but failed because he ‘didn’t have a knife strong enough to cut through bones’.
The video shows Ramos nonchalantly describing the murder to detectives who picked him up almost immediately after he made a 911 call to police claiming his mother had gone missing.
The teen struck while his stepfather was out of town on business. He had spoken to his wife about Ramos’ poor grades just hours before she was killed.
After lying to cops about his involvement, Ramos eventually cracks, telling them he felt ‘nothing’ after killing his mom.
‘I got home and go into an argument with my mom she slapped me across the face she began to hit me, she started beating me, I didn’t like it, so I strangled her to death’ he says.
‘I put her in a wheel barrow and put her in the back of my car I took the car I had a mental breakdown, where I almost committed suicide three times.
‘I drove around Daytona I dropped the wheelbarrow and then I drove back to the church I began to dig a hole. I dug the hole right under the firepit, I dug a pretty deep hole, pretty deep – deep enough to put a body in.
‘All this time my mom’s decomposing body, I dragged it from my car to the fire pit. In which case I tried to cut the wedding ring off her finger because I wanted to pawn it but I didn’t have a knife strong enough to cut through bones – oh well, whatever.’
He goes onto explain how he ‘kicked the b****’ into the hole, covered it up and made it look ‘all natural’ before dumping his clothes and going to school as if nothing had happened.
The twisted teen tries to defend his actions, stating it was ‘completely on impulse’ and as a result of repeated beatings.
However, he also confesses that the attack took place hours after they fought about his biology grade, with Ramos entering his mom’s room while she was asleep to murder her.
Later he reveals that his initial attempts to choke his mom failed and he had to go back to ‘finish her off’.
‘I forced her onto the ground and I was strangling her,’ he explains. ‘She was trying, she was clawing my arm. You can probably see on my hand where I was putting so much stress on it.
‘I choked her to death, I thought she was dead so I went to get the wheelbarrow but when I came back she was moving so I had to get back on top of her and finish the job.
‘When she wasn’t resisting, when I was dragging her dead body across the floor, that’s when I knew she was dead.’
He goes on to describe how he bound his mom’s ankles and legs using seatbelts in order to make her body easier to drag and complains about how heavy she was to carry.
He then drove the body to River View church, where he tells detectives he listened to music while digging the grave.
‘Done with the hole, kicked the b****’s body in the hole but it doesn’t fit, so I have to cram her in there. I don’t know if I broke any bones whatever.
‘Poured bleach on her, covered the dirt over her and it looks perfectly natural.’
Ramos had also enlisted the help of his two friends Dylan Ceglarek and Brian Porras to ransack the family home to make it look like a break in. The boys then went to school as usual the next day.
Ramos, ‘then got home and made in his words a “Grammy-winning phone” call to 911 to talk about this horrible incident that did not really occur,’ Volusia Sheriff Mike Chitwood said at a news conference.
Chitwood said Ramos told them what really happened after he initially tried to say his mother dropped him off to school Friday morning.
However the details did not add up after Cleavenger’s architect firm said she didn’t show up to work that morning.
Law enforcement were suspicious of the boy – who returned home from school early on the day of the crime and made the call at 3.52pm – almost immediately.
He reported his mother missing and noted the van left running in the driveway.
Despite their suspicions, law enforcement put out a notice for anyone who knew of her whereabouts.
They later found items including a PlayStation 4, computer, shovel, rifle and a broom used to tidy the area where the mother was buried, to corroborate the story.
In the video, Ramos admits he ‘f**** up’ with the botched robbery scene and boasts that he probably would have got away with his horrendous crime if he hadn’t attempted to cover his tracks as he did.
He describes how he decided to go to school as it was, ‘my last day as a free man, might as well enjoy it.’
As he was a minor at the time of the murder, Ramos could not be sentenced to life without parole and will be eligible for review after 25 years.
Emily Foster is a globe-trotting journalist based in the UK. Her articles offer readers a global perspective on international events, exploring complex geopolitical issues and providing a nuanced view of the world’s most pressing challenges.