A Florida man has been arrested after he allegedly shot dead his mother, father, and brother execution-style after a feud with them stemming from his sending about $200,000 of their money to a “cam girl” in Bulgaria.
The three were found dead by police with gunshot wounds in their rural home in Chuluota, Seminole County on Friday, after a colleague reported to authorities that Cody Amato had not shown up for work.
According to Jason Amato, a third son who was not present at the time of the alleged murders, his brother had stolen $150,000 from their father, which had included taking out a $65,000 loan on his parents’ home in order to fund his addiction. Grant Amato was also suspected of taking $50,000 to 65,000 from his brother Cody, as well as Cody’s guns, which Amato allegedly sold without permission. All the money was said to have been sent to the unnamed cam girl within a three-month period.
Grant Amato told police that his family had given him an ultimatum when they found out about the payments: seek treatment for internet and sex addiction or leave the family home.
In December, Amato began the 60-day treatment program in Fort Lauderdale, but left before it was completed. "After leaving the facility and returning to Orlando, his family held a meeting where he was presented with a two-page list he would need to follow to remain at the house,” authorities wrote in the affidavit.
Chad, Amato’s father, told him he would have to cease all communications with the Bulgarian woman. “Grant Amato initially agreed to the the rules his father had set,” authorities said, “but he didn’t think they were fair because he felt that the Bulgarian female was his girlfriend and they had a relationship.”
Grant Amato told investigators that he secretly continued to write to the woman through his Twitter account. He said when his father discovered the messages on Thursday night, he kicked him out of the house.
Grant Amato was arrested Saturday then released Sunday as investigators continued to gather evidence.
He was re-arrested Monday on charges of first-degree premeditated murder, and booked into prison.
During his interview with investigators, Amato was shown crime scene photos of his dead family and was asked if he had any remorse for their deaths. “Grant Amato’s response,” wrote investigators, “was his family had been blaming him for months for ruining their lives, stealing, and not following the rules of their home, so he might as well be blamed for this too.”