DETROIT — His father’s terminal illness and death had a dramatic impact on Ramsay Scrivo, who was diagnosed with psychosis and threatened to hang himself when his father died.
His mother, Donna Scrivo, a registered nurse, was granted guardianship of Ramsay, who a doctor listed as paranoid, delusional and suicidal.
Monday, she was arraigned on charges of disinterment and mutilation of a body in the death of her 32-year-old son, whose body parts were found Thursday in bags that had been left in rural parts of China and St. Clair townships. Investigators believe his death occurred in St. Clair Shores, where, according to court records, Ramsay had a condominium.
Scrivo was ordered held on a $100,000 bond at her arraignment Monday, where she appeared in yellow jail garb.
Court records shed new light into the life of of Ramsay Scrivo, who struggled with mental illness and who was reeling from the death of his father last year.
According to records, Ramsay, on probation out of 40th District Court for assault, refused to take his medications and had paranoia and depression. His anger, according to a court file, “had escalated to unsafe levels” and Ramsey “has threatened to commit suicide.”
His father’s illness, the file said, “has had a drastic impact on him.”
According to court records, Donna Scrivo believed her son had gotten into multiple fights because of poor judgment and indicated the police had been involved at least once. She said her son had once frightened a family friend, who he thought had poisoned him, by making threats, according to a report.
In May, Donna Scrivo, who turns 60 on Tuesday, filed a mentally ill petition for hospitalization for her son in Macomb County Probate Court. Ramsay Scrivo agreed to hospitalization. Donna Scrivo — a registered nurse, according to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs — was granted guardianship of her son in May.
The May court filings came days after Donna Scrivo’s husband, Daniel, died. Thomas Odren, who lives next door to Donna Scrivo in St. Clair Shores, said the family was still reeling from Daniel Scrivo’s death.
“He took it really hard,” Odren said about Ramsay Scrivo and his father’s death. “(Donna Scrivo) did, too.”
According to a report in June, Ramsay Scrivo indicated he planned to petition the court to terminate the guardianship in six months and planned to cooperate with treatment, including medication, and follow his mother’s rules.
Ramsay Scrivo, who had a degree in accounting, briefly worked as an accountant, but resigned after a supervisor criticized his work. He graduated from De La Salle Collegiate High School in 1999, received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Wayne State University and recently worked at Allstate Insurance in Roseville, according to neighbors and his public Facebook and LinkedIn pages.
According to court records, Ramsay Scrivo went into building construction trades after he left the accounting job and, just before his hospitalization started a lawn maintenance business.
The report also says Ramsay Scrivo — who admitted he once did not take prescribed medication for his anxiety because he didn’t feel he needed it — was taking medication at that time, felt calmer and recognized he needed the medications. .
But in September — after Ramsay Scrivo said he thought someone had implanted a speaker in his tooth and removed a crown in order to remove the speaker — another petition for hospitalization was filed in probate court. Doctors diagnosed Ramsay with psychosis and said he was paranoid. The petition was dismissed because he was discharged from the hospital, according to court records.
Records indicate Ramsay Scrivo said he bought a condo in St. Clair Shores and started multiple renovation projects, which he hadn’t completed. He paid for half of his living expenses, his parents had paid for the other half and, for years, he had given his mother money so she could pay his bills, according to a report.
Donna Scrivo had been staying with her son while work was being done on her St. Clair Shores home, police said Sunday.
“It just seems so out of character,” Odren, Donna Scrivo’s neighbor, said. “That’s what makes this so hard to process. She had such a good relationship with Ramsay. I would never expect anyone to (dismember their child).
“We’re anxious to figure out what happened.”
Online records show Donna Scrivo was booked Sunday at the Macomb County Jail on an open murder charge.
Donna Scrivo had filed a missing person’s report on Ramsay Scrivo on Jan. 27, saying he had not been seen for about a day. She was arrested Friday. Police had been searching for a heavyset, middle-aged, white woman who was seen dumping garbage from her SUV in the area on Thursday.
Bagged body parts were found discarded in four locations. Police also recovered a fifth bag containing clothes and other nonperishable items. Surveillance footage from a store put a woman, believed to be the mother, in the area around the time the body parts were dumped, police said.
St. Clair County Sheriff Tim Donnellon told the Detroit Free Press that an autopsy has been performed, Donnellon said, but the results were incomplete pending the findings from toxicology testing.
St. Clair Shores Police Detective Sgt. Jay Cohoe said one limb remains missing, and authorities continue to look for evidence in the case. He said the evidence so far is leading authorities to believe the crimes occurred in St. Clair Shores, and investigators are focusing on the victim’s residence.
After arresting the suspect, investigators from both departments searched two locations in St. Clair Shores, the victim’s residence and the mother’s home, police said.
Sunday, two candles sat on the porch in front of Ramsay Scrivo’s home. A U.S. flag flew over the unit’s red front door. Neighbors there declined to talk about the man Sunday.
Cohoe said police have had contact with the mother and son in the past, sometimes involving family trouble. He said the investigation is focusing on one person, but when asked if other people are involved, Cohoe said, “There’s still many questions.”