DeBary community 'beyond belief' after woman's slaying, teen son's arrest
Gregory Ramos, 15, accused of strangling his mother to death
DeBARY, Fla. – Lynn Hackett put flowers and a cross outside Gail Cleavenger's DeBary home on Monday, days after her longtime neighbor was killed and authorities arrested Cleavenger's 15-year-old son.
"We would come home and sit in the driveway and talk about our kids having driver's license finally, and all that kind of stuff," Hackett said.
She and her neighbors are still trying to find the "why" in her death.
Volusia County Sheriff's Office detectives said the victim's son, Gregory Ramos, confessed to murdering his mother and, with the help of two friends, burying her body under a church fire pit. Sheriff Mike Chitwood described Ramos as one of the "top three sociopaths" he has ever encountered.
"I just can't comprehend your own son taking your life. It's just beyond belief for me to understand that," Hackett said.
Larry Turner knew the family for six years and lives two doors down.
"For the son, it's just hard to comprehend. I mean he was a big kid. She was such a small lady," Turner said.
Ramos and his friends, 17-year-old Brian Porras and Dylan Ceglarek, went before a judge on Sunday.
Chitwood said Ramos admitted to strangling his mother to death Friday morning after an argument over a grade.
According to Chitwood, Ramos called his two friends to help with burying his mother behind a church that sits less than two miles away from their home.
Chitwood wants to see Ramos tried as an adult, but as of Monday night, he remains in a detention center.
Porras and Ceglarek were placed on supervised house arrest.
The three attend University High School.
District crisis teams were placed at both the high school and River Springs Middle School.
Scott Allman knew the family and said the news is difficult to digest.
"His mother, her world revolved around the kids and she was always there for the kids. She was a very good mother so I have no clue what could have set him off, or what," Allman said.
Allman's child went to school with Ramos since kindergarten.
Explaining what happened to his kids, he says, is something no parent should have to do.
"I don't know what it is that's making them snap," Allman said.
Cleavenger attended Wellspring Church.
"Gail has always been a woman of great kindness and faithfulness," Pastor Jacob Hoyer said. "We all mourn her passing. We hope everyone will respect the privacy of our faith community during this difficult time.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses.
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