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Lacey man charged in death of 3-year-old son in Montana

A 38-year-old Lacey man, Jeremy Cramer, was charged with murder Tuesday, July 9, in Montana in the death of his 3-year-old son, whose body was found earlier in the day near Anaconda, Mont. The boy’s mother in Lacey said her husband had driven off with the boy Monday, but she had no reason to believe that her son was in danger.

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Jeremy Cramer

Jeremy Cramer

ANACONDA, Mont. — Jeremy Cramer, 38, of Lacey, Wash., was sentenced Friday to life in prison without parole for killing and dismembering his 3-year-old son near here last summer, according to the Montana Standard.

In December, Cramer changed his plea to guilty — admitting he “purposely killed” the toddler. In exchange for the guilty plea, the death penalty was taken off the table.

According to court records, Cramer had taken the boy from their Lacey home last July after a confrontation with his wife, Nataliya, and killed the boy 5 miles southeast of Anaconda, Mont.

At his sentencing hearing Friday, District Judge Loren Tucker refused to allow Cramer to be eligible for parole, saying that the slaying was “gruesome, horrible.”

Witnesses testified that Cramer mutilated his 3-year-old son’s body after smashing the boy’s head with a rock on July 8. The boy’s head was nearly severed, witnesses said, and his heart had been cut out and was found “away from the body.”

Workers at an Anaconda convenience store said they saw Cramer trying to wash blood off himself and his clothes in the store’s restroom and called police.  Officers later found the boy’s body in a field next to his father’s abandoned truck.

Prosecutors say Cramer — who was believed to have been abusing prescription pills — phoned his father after his arrest and confessed to killing the boy. He allegedly told his father he didn’t know why he did it.

lacey boy murderedANACONDA, MONT. — Prosecutors in Montana will not seek the death penalty against a Lacey man accused of killing his 3-year old son near Anaconda last summer, according to The Montana Standard.  Jeremy Cramer, 28, pleaded not guilty in the death of his son, Broderick Cramer.

Workers at an Anaconda convenience store say they saw Cramer trying to wash blood off himself and his clothes in the store’s restroom in August and called police.  Officers later found the boy’s body in a field next to his father’s abandoned truck.

Police found bloody keys and a knife on Cramer, as well as an empty generic Adderall container.   Prosecutors say Cramer phoned his father after his arrest and confessed to killing the boy.  He allegedly told his father he didn’t know why he did it.

If convicted, Cramer could face life in prison.

LACEY — The father of a 3-year-old boy was charged in Montana Tuesday with killing his son.

brodyThe child from Lacey was found dead in a rural field in Montana Tuesday morning. Family members say the mother is in disbelief and that she does not think her husband is capable of hurting their son.

The family says the father, Jeremy Cramer, and his son Brody were best friends and did everything together, from camping to fishing.

Cramer is a man with no violent criminal history, police say.

But Brody’s “body was found just off the highway in some kind of field,” Lacey police spokesperson Jim Mack said.

The boy was found dead around 6 a.m. Tuesday in Anaconda-Deer Lodge County in Montana, more than a nine-hour drive from his Lacey home.

The mom called police Monday afternoon to say she couldn’t reach her husband and son since they left the home together that morning. Lacey police say an Amber Alert was not issued because the mom believed her son was not in any danger.

“Knowing we couldn’t have done the Amber Alert, we did what we called ‘attempt to locate’ and found out he used his credit card and was located in Moses Lake,” Mack said.

From Eastern Washington, Cramer crossed into Idaho, then Montana, where a convenience store clerk called police saying he spotted the father washing blood off his clothes in the store’s bathroom. The 38-year-old was arrested but there was no Brody and no car.

“We said, Where is the child? They said, ‘There is no child.’ And so they started to diligently search,” Mack said, referring to Montana law enforcement.

Police located Cramer’s car about 5 miles southeast of Anaconda. Police say the boy was found not too far away from the vehicle.

In Lacey, a neighbor said the news was surreal for a family that seemed happy.

“The person seemed like a very family-oriented guy, there was nothing suspicious, just a normal guy doing yard work quite a bit,” said neighbor Abdul Khan.

“No issues of domestic violence or child abuse at all; we have no history over at the house, no issues like that,” said Mack.

As Cramer sits in a Montana jail cell on $250,000 bail, police say they don’t know what caused the father to snap.

“He seemed somewhat distraught at times. He didn’t say much except to say he understood the bond conditions; he didn’t even enter a plea at this time. In Montana, deliberate homicide is as bad as it gets,” said Ananconda-Deer Lodge County prosecutor Ben Krakowka.

Deliberate homicide is equivalent to first-degree murder. Lacey police say they don’t know if disputes over finances played a role but they say the couple has fallen into hard times lately. Cramer has been unemployed for nearly a year.

The family says there will be a Brody fund set up at US Bank for anyone who wants to help pay for the funeral.

LACEY — A 38-year-old Lacey man was charged with murder Tuesday in Montana in the death of his 3-year-old son, whose body was found earlier in the day near Anaconda, Mont. The boy’s mother in Lacey said her husband had driven off with the boy Monday.

laceyBail was set in Anaconda, Mont., at $250,000 for Jeremy Brent Cramer.

The Lacey Police Department was contacted Monday by the boy’s mother, Natalie Cramer, who told them her husband had taken their son, Brody Cramer, from their home.

She also told police her husband was not answering his cell phone or responding to text messages and that he had used his fuel credit card in Moses Lake earlier on Monday.

Lacey police then requested an alert for the man and boy in Eastern Washington, Idaho and Montana in an attempt to locate the husband’s vehicle.

About 10:30 p.m. Anaconda-Deer Lodge, Mont., officers were asked to respond to a convenience store after a clerk reported seeing a man attempting to wash blood off himself and his clothes in the restroom. Police later determined that Cramer, 38, had left with his son from Lacey in what appeared to be a custodial dispute.

About 11:20 p.m., Cramer was found by police about five miles outside of Anaconda, which is approximately 25 miles northwest of Butte, Mont. When Cramer was found, the boy was not with him.

Tuesday morning, when police resumed their search for the child, they found the boy dead.

Cramer was taken into custody in Montana on unrelated misdemeanor charges, the county attorney’s office said. Prosecutors later filed murder charges against Cramer.

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