The man charged with murdering two Amsterdam residents was a friend of one of the victims’ sons and was invited to the home the night of the killings, a family member said Monday.
Ivan Ramos, 30, faces first-degree murder charges, which, if he’s convicted, could mean life in prison without the possibility of parole, officials said during a news conference.
Police say Ramos — who was out on bail at the time in an unrelated home-invasion case — killed Cheryl Goss, 46, and William McDermott, 56, in McDermott’s Locust Avenue apartment March 2.
McDermott’s sister Sarah, one of several members of the victims’ families who attended Monday’s briefing, said she feels better now that an investigation that’s been ongoing for six months has turned the corner into a prosecution.
“It hurts knowing this happened and no one had been charged,” she said.
Police in the months after the killings said their case hinged on evidence sent to the state police forensics laboratory, but it remained unclear Monday what, if any, of that evidence ultimately led to the arrest.
Police declined to discuss what evidence they did collect and would not elaborate on their theory on motive or whether anyone else was involved in the murders.
Amsterdam Police Detective Lt. Kurt Conroy said police were unable to find a murder weapon.
Goss’ daughters took bitter comfort in the arrest.
Hope Faboskay said years in prison with free food doesn’t seem like justice to her.
“He can see his family. My mom’s never gonna come back,” she said. She and her sister Kelly are pregnant with children who will never meet their grandmother.
“I’m happy because my mom can rest now,” Kelly Faboskay said.
Goss has six children and six grandchildren, her daughters said.
The two stood in front of McDermott’s apartment the morning of March 2 as police investigated inside and both said they believed Ramos, who goes by the name “Big Man” on the street, was the culprit.
Montgomery County District Attorney James “Jed” Conboy said there was no evidence to indicate Ramos broke into McDermott’s apartment that night. He said police believe McDermott and Ramos were acquaintances.
Hope Faboskay on Monday said Ramos was a friend of one of her brothers, and she was aware Ramos was going to be at McDermott’s home when her mother told her she was going there the night before she died.
“A guy like that shouldn’t be on the streets,” she said.
Police had Ramos in custody in December when they charged him with first-degree burglary and first-degree robbery, both felonies, following an investigation into a Nov. 29 home invasion on Guy Park Avenue.
Victims in that case said two people barged into the apartment, one wielding a shotgun, and stole cash and electronics.
Conboy on Monday said Ramos was able to make $25,000 bail while awaiting further proceedings in that case. A trial is scheduled for Oct. 1 in Montgomery County Court, Conboy said.
Ramos was released from state prison in 2007 after serving time on a felony robbery conviction followed by post-release supervision, which expired in 2010, according to the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.
Police arrested Ramos the day after the killings in another unrelated case — the theft of construction equipment. He pleaded guilty to fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property and was sentenced to 11⁄2 to three years in state prison.
Later in March, police charged Ramos with first-degree robbery and first-degree burglary, alleging he took part in an October 2011 home invasion that sent one person to a hospital.
The victims in both home invasion cases described two assailants, but there have been no other arrests, Conboy said.
Ramos is asking for a court-appointed attorney to defend him on the murder charges.