Chad, Margaret, and Cody Amato: How Did They Die? Who Killed Them?

Chad and Margaret Amato were found dead in their Florida house in January 2019. Along with them was their son, Cody Amato who had also been shot to death and had a gun lying next to him. The investigation started with an assumption that it was a murder-suicide but when the police further analyzed the evidence and talked to more people close to the family, a different kind of story started to emerge. In Paramount +’s mini-series ‘Ctrl+Alt+Desire’ more details about the family and the circumstances surrounding their death have been detailed.

Chad, Margaret, and Cody Amato were Found Dead In Their House

Chad and Margaret Amato got married when Chad was employed as a pharmacist at CVS Health, and Margaret held a position as a senior operations manager at Nuance Transcription Services. Margaret had a son named Jason from a previous relationship, whom Chad adopted when Jason was three years old. The couple expanded their family with the birth of their children; Cody in 1987 and Grant in 1989. Despite their successful careers and ability to provide for their children, the household was characterized by a strong sense of discipline.

Chad Amato//Image Credit: Find a Grave

Chad was known for his dedication to hard work and integrity, instilling these values in his children with the hope that they would excel. On the other hand, Margaret balanced this with a nurturing approach, particularly towards her children. She had a soft spot for animals, particularly horses, and devoted much of her time to caring for them. Residing in Chuluota, Florida, the couple enrolled Cody and Grant at Timber Creek High School in Orlando. The brothers shared a close bond from an early age, enjoying similar hobbies and interests, and often spending a lot of time together.

As Jason reached adulthood, he decided to pursue independent living. Meanwhile, Cody and Grant pursued their studies in nursing at the University of Central Florida. Both of them aspired to become nurse anesthetists and started studying further. While Cody managed to excel in his course, Grant faced challenges and eventually dropped out after struggling with several subjects. Despite this setback, Grant found employment as a nurse at AdventHealth Orlando, providing a sense of stability for the family.

Margaret Amato//Image Credit: Find a Grave

On January 25, 2019, Cody’s absence from work prompted his co-worker to contact the police for a welfare check. Upon arriving at the Amato residence around 9 a.m., officers attempted to make contact with the family but received no response. Concerned, they proceeded to enter the home, where they were met with a crime scene. Cody’s lifeless body was found in a fetal position near a door connecting the home gym and the garage. He was still dressed in his work scrubs and had suffered a fatal gunshot wound near his eye. He also had a gun lying next to him.

As the police walked further, they discovered Chad’s body near the kitchen area, lying face-up with two bullet wounds to his head. It appeared that he had been shot once and attempted to flee before being shot again. A gun was found in a holster on his hip. In the home office, Margaret’s lifeless body was found lying face down on the table, with a single gunshot wound to the back of her head. With all three family members pronounced dead, authorities commenced a thorough investigation into the incident.

A Missing Car Led to Chad, Margaret, and Cody Amato’s Killer

Although initially suspected as a murder-suicide due to the presence of guns at the crime scene, the investigation took a different turn when shell casings found near the bodies did not match the guns found on Chad Amato or Cody Amato. Further complicating matters, Grant Amato, another resident of the house, was nowhere to be found; his phone had been disconnected, and a car from the house was missing. Authorities issued a bulletin for the car and located him at a nearby hotel.

Grant and Cody Amato

Grant was questioned by authorities, during which he disclosed some of the family’s ongoing issues. He revealed that he had been terminated from his job at AdventHealth Orlando for medication theft and had also faced legal charges for grand larceny in 2018. These events had pushed him to a breaking point, leading him to seek solace online, where he became a regular user of a pornographic website called Cam Girls. It was through this platform that he encountered a woman named Sylvia Ventsislavova.

Grant became deeply infatuated with Sylvia, investing significant amounts of money in their online relationship and community. He used funds belonging to Chad and Cody to finance his interactions with her, sending gifts and cash which nearly amounted to a staggering $200,000. Chad discovered the missing money and confronted Grant, while Cody attempted to resolve the issue by taking him on a trip to Japan to indulge in their shared love of anime. However, upon their return, tensions at home continued to escalate, leading to Grant’s departure to his aunt’s house in December 2018 following an argument.

From his aunt’s house, Grant sent Cody messages requesting $50,000 to travel to Bulgaria, where Silviya lived. Concerned for his well-being, the family intervened and admitted him to a rehabilitation center for internet and pornography addiction. However, Margaret later checked him out of the facility and brought him back home, much to Chad’s dismay. Chad, still dissatisfied, drafted a list of rules and restrictions aimed at ending Grant’s communication with Silviya. He said that he had told the woman the truth and if he did not abide by the rules, he would have to move out of the house.

Margaret observed Grant’s distress over the imposed rules and occasionally allowed him to use her phone to communicate with Silviya. According to Grant, this arrangement persisted until January 24, when he was preparing for a job interview scheduled for the next day. He claimed that during this time, his father caught him communicating with Silviya and ordered him to leave the house. Grant alleged that he and his father engaged in a conversation lasting over an hour, during which he noticed Cody returning home. He stated that around 12:30 a.m., he left the house and went to a Publix parking lot, where he used the wifi to continue conversing with Silviya before falling asleep. He then attended the job interview the following morning.

The prosecutors rejected Grant’s account of events leading up to the murders. They contended that Grant killed Chad in the midst of their ongoing conflict and shot Cody out of jealousy for his brother’s success. Additionally, they alleged that Margaret was killed because she was present, and leaving her alive would have risked detection. Through corroborative evidence and testimonies presented in court, the prosecutors built a compelling case that ultimately led to Grant being found guilty of all three murders.

Read More: Where is Grant Amato Now?