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Donna Scrivo (59) allegedly killed and dismembered her son Ramsay (32), before dumping bags of his body parts on the side of the road
Published: Feb 03, 2014 @ 6:36 PM
Donna Scrivo (59)
Jan 30, 2014
St. Clair Shores, Michigan
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Ramsay Scrivo (32)
Jan 30, 2014
Cause of Death:
St. Clair Shores, Michigan
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As police prepare to charge a St. Clair Shores woman with killing her 32-year-old son and dismembering his body, family and friends struggle to comprehend what led to the grisly act.
Donna Chaffin Scrivo, 59, was held in Macomb County Jail over the weekend and is expected to be arraigned Monday on open murder charges in 40th District Court.
Authorities allege she killed her son Ramsay Scrivo of St. Clair Shores, dismembered his body, and stuffed the remains in several garbage bags that were discovered in St. Clair County late last week.
Relatives on Sunday said they are too distraught to talk about a tragedy they can't even begin to understand.
"We are grieving a terrible, terrible loss," said Carolynn Sloan, an aunt of Ramsay Scrivo.
Police have not disclosed a motive or how Ramsay Scrivo was killed but said they have recovered the instrument that was used to cut up the body after searching Ramsay Scrivo's home on Gary Lane and his mother's house on Rosedale Street. The mother had been living at her son's residence following a fire that broke out in her home in 2013.
Ramsay Scrivo had worked as an accountant and also had been employed with All State Insurance. A graduate of De La Salle Collegiate High School, he had attended Wayne State University.
An investigation into the strange case was launched Jan. 30 after a passerby notified police that someone had disposed of trash bags containing body parts in rural parts of St. Clair and China townships in St. Clair County.
Since the homicide is believed to have occurred in St. Clair Shores and the remains were found in St. Clair County, the county sheriff's office and St. Clair Shores police are conducting a joint investigation, according to St. Clair County Sheriff Tim Donnellon.
Donnellon on Sunday recounted the developments in the case.
"It was clear the homicide hadn't taken place where the parts were found so we had to work fast to determine who this individual was and where he came from," Donnellon said.
Six sheriff's detectives were assigned to the case, first tracking down police reports of anyone recently reported missing and found five potential names including a man who had been reported missing earlier in the week in St. Clair Shores.
They worked with the staff of Dr. Daniel Spitz, a forensic pathologist who serves as the county medical examiner for both Macomb and St. Clair counties. Spitz's staff was able to develop a set of fingerprints from a hand that was in the bag. The prints were analyzed by the FBI, which led to the victim's identity.
In the meantime, a witness came forward with information on a white female who was seen in a gray or white SUV near one of the dumping sites. Investigators ventured to a nearby gas station located near Interstate 94 and obtained additional information through a security surveillance camera that captured images of the potential suspect.
Detectives then obtained information from the Michigan Secretary of State as they looked for relatives of the victim. When they saw a driver's license image for the victim's mother, they noticed she looked very similar to the woman seen in the security videotape.
Investigators soon realized their person of interest was the victim's mother -- which caught them off guard.
"This certainly isn't what we expected," Donnellon said.
"We've had bodies discovered in the past and usually, it's somehow drug related and that's what we were anticipating here. It was very unsettling to think a woman had dumped body parts on the road in the middle of the day. To me, that just screams panic, not real well thought out."
Donnellon declined to provide specifics on what authorities believe happened until an arraignment is held.
However, court records and public documents show a couple of significant events that have taken place in the last year.
Daniel Scrivo, the husband of the suspect and father of the victim, died in May 2013 in the Rosedale home at the age of 61. A few months later, a fire took place in the Scrivo household.
Donna Scrivo resided in a hotel before moving in with her son while restoration work was underway, according to neighbors.
That same month, Donna Scrivo was in Macomb Probate Court asking to be named as guardian to Ramsay. Online records do not state why she sought the guardianship. She was made a temporary guardian but the matter was later discharged, according to court records. In September, she petitioned the court to have her son hospitalized for an undisclosed mental illness. That case was deferred.
Neighbors of Donna Scrivo on Rosedale Street said she is a former nurse who has another son, Jason who lives in New Orleans.
Doris Odren, who lives next door, recalled the time her husband, Tom Odren, hurt his back in a car accident. She said Scrivo would often stop by to check up on him. She plans to be the arraignment to show her support.
"I know that she loved her son," she said. "She doted on him. I can't imagine what could have happened between them."
Her husband agreed.
"There's got to be something more to this," Tom Odren said. "The death of her husband last year threw her for a loop. I think it threw the whole family for a loop."
Ex-nurse accused of killing her St. Clair Shores son, dismembering body
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