Deputies said Gregory Ramos confessed to killing his mother, 46-year-old Gail Cleavenger, by strangling her at the family's home on Alicante Road in DeBary late Thursday night after the two fought over his grades.
After the murder, police say Ramos called friends to help him make it look like someone had burglarized the home.
Chitwood said Ramos told detectives he staged the burglary with the help of two 17-year-old classmates, Dylan Ceglark and Brian Porras.
A 15-year-old Florida boy accused of killing his mother and enlisting his friends to help hide her body was still in custody Monday morning.
When Ramos' story began to unravel, however, he confessed to the murder and led authorities to the scene in what Chitwood describes as "his hour to shine". While they have, too, have yet to be formally, charged, police said they are likely facing multiple criminal charges.
In between the argument the mother had called father Danny Cleavenger - who was away on a business trip in Seattle - to tell him about the grade.
Upon searching the woods, police say, they discovered a shovel Ramos used to bury Cleavenger and a broom he used to clean up his tracks.
At River City Church, the teen buried his mother's body beneath a fire pit, according to police.
Authorities found the door to the house kicked down, the house ransacked and Cleavenger's truck running in the driveway after the teen reported the burglary to police on Friday afternoon. Chitwood said detectives were suspicious of Ramos because they noticed scratches on his face. The next morning, the suspect allegedly went to school, returned home, then called 911 to report his mother missing. But rather than expressing guilt or remorse, Chitwood said he seemed proud.
Ramos also told Pagliari that his mother was abusive toward him and thought she might kill him one day.
The sheriff said the case has been one of the most disturbing and saddest he has encountered. "I have a feeling this is a case we'll be hearing about for years to come", Chitwood said. "He wanted me to go to the crime scene and admire his work".