‘These were disgusting crimes:’ Woman with severe disabilities was abused prior to murder, detectives say

3 family members arrested in Gladys Ambert’s death

A drawing of Gladys Ambert. (Image: Orange County Sheriff's Office) (WKMG 2020)

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County homicide detectives have arrested three family members after the body of a 27-year-old woman who was deaf, mute and had Cerebral palsy was found abandoned near the Valencia College campus in April.

On Tuesday, the Sheriff’s Office announced detectives had arrested the victim’s aunt Nellie Ambert, 55, who is charged with first-degree murder of a disabled person. Jasmine Ambert, 32, is charged with abuse and neglect of a disabled person and Christian Matias,18, is charged with tampering with evidence. All three suspects were arrested Monday night.

The lead detective in the case became overwhelmed talking about the severe abuse and neglect Gladys Ambert suffered prior to her death. Sgt. Joe Covelli described a couch in the family’s home that was covered in pee pads because the victim was tied there and forced to urinate and defecate on herself.

The “horror" of the victim’s life began in July 2019, according to Covelli, after Gladys Ambert’s grandmother died and she came to live with her aunt, Nellie Ambert, in Orange County.

“She was raised by her grandma, by all accounts, in a loving family,” Covelli said, until her aunt brought her to Florida.

The detective said after she arrived at her aunt’s apartment, Gladys Ambert was tied up every day and neglected either on the couch or in the bathroom. The people who lived in the apartment used ear plugs to block out Gladys Ambert’s cries, the detective said, because even though she was mute and deaf she was in a lot of pain.

From left to right: Nellie Ambert, 55, is charged with first-degree murder and other charges, Jasmine Ambert, 32, is charged with abuse and neglect of a disabled person and Christian Matias,18, is charged with tampering with evidence. (WKMG 2020)

On the morning of April 7, Nellie Ambert reported Gladys Ambert missing, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The family told detectives the woman with severe disabilities “walked away” sometimes during the night.


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