HELENA, Mont. — A Lacey man told his father during a rambling jailhouse phone call that he killed his young son after running out of gas in southwestern Montana and walking down the road with the boy on his shoulders, prosecutors said in new court documents.
The 3-year-old boy became “like some other kid when he was on my neck,” 38-year-old Jeremy Brent Cramer told his father. Then he remembered looking at his son’s face and “I just died right there,” Cramer said, according to the transcript of the July 9 conversation.
Excerpts from the call recorded the morning after Jeremy Cramer’s arrest depict the Lacey man as sometimes incoherent and possibly addled by a prescription stimulant, but he repeatedly refutes his father’s hopes that Brody Cramer may still be alive.
“I killed my own son and I don’t know why,” Cramer said. “The thing was, it wasn’t like I had a few beers or it was like something was up inside. Why did I take all my pills? Did I take all my pills?”
The charging documents and affidavit were filed Friday by Anaconda-Deer Lodge County Attorney Ben Krakowka. They provide the most details released to date on what happened between the morning of July 8, when Cramer’s wife reported him and his son missing, and late that night, when Cramer was arrested in an Anaconda gas station washing blood off his clothes and body.
Cramer has been charged with deliberate homicide. His court-appointed attorney did not return a call for comment Monday.
Brody Cramer’s beaten and stabbed body was found in a field the morning of July 9. Investigators found a knife and two rocks covered with blood and hair next to the body, along with a blanket and a global-positioning satellite unit, according to the court documents.
Police found bloody keys and a knife on Jeremy Cramer, along with an empty container for a generic substitute of the drug Adderall. The container for the stimulant said the prescription was filled July 3 with 60 pills, and only two pills were supposed to be taken per day.
Cramer’s brother, Jon Cramer, told police that his brother was a former methamphetamine addict who had been “doctor shopping” for a physician who would provide him with Adderall.
Nataliya Cramer reported to Lacey police on July 8 that her husband had not responded to numerous phone calls and text messages.
Austin Howell told police Cramer offered him and Trenton Zolman $50, then $100, for a ride into town, saying he had run out of gas.
They gave Cramer a ride and asked about the blood on his pants, shirt and tie, to which Cramer responded, “I had a traumatic experience and no one is dead,” according to the documents.
When they arrived at a gas station, Howell went inside and warned the clerk “there was something off about this guy,” the documents said.
The clerk called police, and an officer found Cramer in the restroom with his pants off attempting to wash away the blood. He told the officer that he had broken up a fight at a rest area.
He was arrested when he refused to put his clothes back on.
Cramer refused to provide information about his son or the location of his truck. Cramer, a Mormon, asked to speak to somebody high in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The church president for southwestern Montana spoke with Cramer for an hour, but Cramer did not reveal the boy’s location.
At 5:27 a.m., Cramer called his father from the jailhouse near a sign that says all calls are recorded.
His father suggested over and over that Brody may still be alive.
“Dad, Brody’s dead,” Cramer said.
“Are you sure?” his father responded.
“My son is dead, 100 percent, my son is dead, yes I did it, something did it of me, but I didn’t do it,” Cramer answered.
Investigators found Brody’s body at 6:15 a.m. in a field off Mill Creek Road, about 5 miles southeast of Anaconda. The cause of death was sharp- and blunt-force injuries, according to an autopsy.