CHULUOTA, Fla. - A 29-year-old man's online porn addiction may have led him to kill his parents and brother, Seminole County deputies said.
A judge Monday ordered Grant Amato held without bond on premeditated murder charges. An arrest warrant alleges Amato killed his parents and brother last week after getting into a fight with his family over a relationship with an online Bulgarian call girl. Investigators say Amato gave more than $200,000 of his family's money to the woman.
The arrest warrant said Amato's family tried to get help for the 29-year-old. He had been in a Fort Lauderdale rehab facility on a voluntary basis for internet and sex addiction in December and early January. When Amato returned home, his family asked him not to contact the woman, the warrant said.
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Investigators say Amato's father, Chad Amato, confronted his son last Thursday after learning he had spoken to the woman via Twitter. Chad ordered Grant to move out of the house, and a heated argument ensued, deputies said.
The next day, when Cody Amato didn't report to work at Advent Hospital East Orlando, his girlfriend called police to check the home.
Chad, his wife Margaret, and their son Cody were found dead in their Chuloata home on Friday. Deputies say Amato killed his family members execution style.
According to the warrant, Seminole County deputies spoke to the girlfriend of Grant's brother, Cody. She told investigators that things had started going downhill for Amato after he was kicked out of nursing school.
Amato's brother's girlfriend told investigators that Grant Amato was unemployed and stole more than $200,000 from his family over period of three months to contact what deputies call an "online Bulgarian call girl" from the website Cam Girls.
According to the arrest warrant, Cody's girlfriend also told investigators that she and her late boyfriend "once had a conversation where Cody told her that she was afraid that Grant would kill everyone."
Grant Amato was found Saturday at a Double Tree hotel near UCF and taken into questioning.
The arrest warrant said Amato denies killing his family. Investigators said there was no forced entry into the home and it was not ransacked. Amato told investigators he went to the home but saw deputies and news vehicles, then drove to a Panera and looked up articles about what happened online.
According to the arrest warrant, Amato told investigators his family had been blaming him for months for "ruining their lives," stealing from them, and disobeying their rules, so he "might as well be blamed for this, too."
The sheriff's office said they initially didn't have enough evidence to arrest Amato, so he was released. Deputies kept an eye on Amato as he stayed a Lake Mary hotel until they had enough evidence to arrest him early Monday morning.
In court Monday, Amato stood emotionless as a judge ordered him held in prison without bond. After the hearing, public defender Jeff Dowdy, who is representing Amato, told Channel 9's Jeff Levkulich: "Obviously it's a tragic case but there is not that much there."
This is a developing story. Watch Channel 9 Eyewitness News for more LIVE updates. Not near a TV? Click here to watch WFTV newscasts live.
#Breaking: Online porn addiction, family issues over money spent for online Bulgarian call girl may have been motive for triple homicide in Chuluota according to court documents. Grant Amato charged with killing parents and brother execution style. Details at noon. #WFTV pic.twitter.com/WaXs8Saqxn— Jeff Levkulich (@jlevkulichWFTV) January 28, 2019
4 a.m. Monday: Grant Amato was arrested and charged with three counts of first-degree premeditated murder early Monday morning after three people were found dead in a home near Chuluota on Friday.
Amato, 29, was previously named as a person of interest in the case and taken into investigative detention on Saturday, but was released on Sunday before being arrested the next day.
Seminole County records show Amato is expected to make his first court appearance Monday afternoon.
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Seminole County deputies said Amato is accused of killing his mom, dad and brother inside their home last week.
This is a developing story. Watch Eyewitness News at 7 a.m. for the latest updates.
#Breaking: @SeminoleSO update on SULTAN CIR HOMICIDE: Early this morning investigators obtained an arrest warrant for Grant Amato on 3 counts of first-degree premeditated murder.Amato has been taken into custody and is currently being booked without bond.#WFTV pic.twitter.com/CZ67x6AbSq— Jeff Levkulich (@jlevkulichWFTV) January 28, 2019
Grant Amato, now being held without bond on three counts of First Degree Murder, is currently set for an initial court appearance this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/U4kkeZ3FP8— Seminole County S.O. (@SeminoleSO) January 28, 2019
ORIGINAL STORY: The victims of a triple homicide who were discovered in Chuluota Friday morning were identified by deputies Sunday.
Deputies said Margaret Amato, 61, Chad Amato, 59, and Cody Amato, 31, were the victims of a shooting inside a home in the Pickett Downs subdivision on Sultan Circle.
A person of interest -- Grant Amato, 29, who was taken into investigative detention by investigators on Saturday -- was released Sunday and is cooperating with the investigation, officials said.
Deputies have still not released what led to the homicides but said this incident is not considered a random act.
Officials said someone called 911, asking officers to make a well-being check at the home.
NEW THIS MORNING: Deputies say the person of interest in a Seminole County triple homicide has been found in Orange County. I’ll have the latest details on this case live at noon @WFTV pic.twitter.com/XmAMABmKFJ— Ashley Edlund (@AshleyEdlund) January 26, 2019
#Breaking: @SeminoleSO on scene at a home in Pickett Downs subdivision in Chuluota investigating the discovery of multiple dead bodies. Waiting for PIO for an update. Came into 911 as a well being check.#WFTV pic.twitter.com/OTCEYWfsug— Jeff Levkulich (@jlevkulichWFTV) January 25, 2019
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