Gesell, 17, was being held on $10,000 bond and will be tried as an adult on charges of second-degree burglary and felony stealing.
Two juvenile suspects were referred to family court and their status is unknown.
Gesell told investigators that he served as a lookout while the other suspects stole jewelry, electronics, prescription drugs and the ashes, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. (The thieves also took cash, the probable cause statement indicated.)
“All my jewelry was gone, all my son’s electronics, I had my father’s ashes — they were sitting on the dresser,” one of the victims, Deborah Matthews, told NBC affiliate KSDK. “They took my dad’s ashes.”
“One of the suspects tasted the ashes and determined it was not cocaine as they originally suspected,” St. Peters Police Officer Melissa Doss told The Post. The ashes were thrown from a car window and weren’t recovered.
According to police, the three were acquaintances of the family who lived at the home. They planned the burglary after seeing a posting on Facebook that said the family was going to be out of town.
A video game system that was taken from the house helped investigators solve the crime, the Post-Dispatch reported. Police located the suspects by tracking its IP address.
Matthews told KSDK that she knows the juvenile suspects.
“There were people that I knew that I never thought would do something like this to me,” she said.
Watch the full KSDK report here, and read the probable cause statement below: