Grant Amato 'unable to function' without cam girl before family's slaying, letter shows

Suspect deceived family, online porn group, prosecution says evidence shows

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist

Grant Amato.

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Before prosecutors say Grant Amato killed his parents and brother, he sent a letter to an online porn group involved with the woman to whom he sent more than $200,000, apologizing for lying about his lifestyle; however, he didn’t say the money was stolen from his family before they ultimately found out three months before the deaths.

That apology letter, documents and video interviews with Amato were released Monday by prosecutors as part of the case against the 29-year-old accused of killing his family after he says they forced him to cut ties with a woman with whom he formed a relationship via the website MyFreeCams, where people can pay women for sexual photos and videos.

Grant Amato’s parents, Chad and Margaret, along with his brother, Cody Amato, 31, were fatally shot at their Chuluota home Jan. 25. Photos and other evidence from the home shows Cody Amato was shot as soon as he walked in the door. He was still wearing his green hospital scrubs after returning home from work at Orlando Health, according to the discovery.

Records show Grant Amato had argued with his family in the months leading up to the shooting because he had stolen $200,000 from his father and brother to wire to a Bulgarian cam girl, called Silvie, with whom he had an online relationship on the website MyFreeCams.

“My family found out about her, the website and all the money I had been spending on everything,” Amato wrote in the eight-page apology letter to the online group also involved with the woman.

After learning about the relationship and the stolen funds in November, his family sent Grant Amato to a rehabilitation center for internet and sex addiction, according to investigators.

In a letter written sometime after the suspect left the rehabilitation center on Jan. 9, Amato tells his MyFreeCams friends he stayed there until he was “able convince my family that I was fine and able to be released.”

According to recorded interviews and in Amato’s own words, he felt misunderstood by his family.

“My father is controlling and abusive, my mother is simply around for the security and my brother is also controlling and does not understand how I could care for someone as much as I care for Silvie," Grant Amato wrote.

Amato apologizes to his online friends, saying, “I am not a professional gamer, did not own my own house and did not drive a BMW," adding “while the money I have, the tips I gave and the way that I was and am are my true personality and way of being.”

At least $200,000 he used for the MyFreeCams website to send to Silvie was stolen from his father and brother, according to investigators.

It’s unclear if any of Amato’s own money was also used to fund the online relationship, which involved sending Silvie gifts including flowers and outfits, the letter shows. Users are encouraged to "tip" the models on the website.

The cam girl had cut ties with Amato in January, according to the letter, because while he was in rehab, his “family had hacked my computer at home, gained access to my phone records and all my personal things related to Silvie.” The Amato family also contacted Silvie, according to the letter.

Excerpts form a letter written by Grant Amato to an online community whom he shared a relationship with a cam girl in the months before his father, mother and brother were killed.

By January, Amato wrote he was reduced "to only being able to send her DM’s on her public Twitter.”

Amato was devastated about losing contact and access to the woman. He writes, “I am unable to function normally without her,” and, “I will never get over her.”

The 29-year-old entered a not guilty plea in March to three counts of first-degree murder. He faces the death penalty if convicted.

He continues to deny his role in the slayings, according to jail messages also released on Monday.

A message written by Grant Amato from the Seminole County jail to a legal advocate.

Amato was worried about his nursing license and requested several “The King Killer Chronicle” books. A criminal defense mitigation expert advised him, “please don’t worry about your nursing license … there are much bigger things happening now," messages from March 12 show.

“This is not some drama, it’s the greatest tragedy of my life that I am being wrongfully accused of,” Amato wrote to a reporter in March.

Before his Jan. 28 arrest, Amato sought access to the online porn community group again, according to his letter.

Amato wrote, “I wish I could simply say that everyone deserves a chance to right their wrongs, but unfortunately it is not up to me.”

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