Video shows suspect placing pillows over 7-year-old's head and leaning on him

A Key West woman was arrested Aug. 7 by Key West Police on charges of child abuse and attempted first-degree, premeditated murder. The suspect, Amber Pratt, 36, who spells her first name Ambre on Facebook, was seen on video placing a pillow and blankets over the head of her boyfriend’s 7-year-old son while the child was in bed, then leaning on the child with her full body weight while he struggled to break free, the arrest report states.

Pratt initially told police the incident was a “fun” pillow fight, the report states. When questioned further and shown the videos, Pratt told police she has been depressed recently and has been having problems in her relationship with the boy’s father. 

“Amber also told us that she is a veterinary technician and has access to various chemicals, including those necessary to euthanize animals,” the arrest report states. 

Pratt babysat for the child while the father was at work. The father told police he and Pratt have been in a relationship for three years, although Pratt’s Facebook page says she was widowed in December 2021. 

As of Aug. 9, Pratt was being kept separate from other jail inmates due to the severity of her charges, and while awaiting results of a COVID test, jail officials said.

She was arrested at 806 Catherine St. at 8:53 p.m. on Aug. 7, when Key West police responded to allegations of child abuse against a 7-year-old boy.

According to police, the child’s father told police he had noticed behavioral changes with his son in the past several months, as well as instances of the child waking up in the morning with swollen, irritated eyes, with no explanation as to why, the police report states.

The father also told police his son had been asking to come to work with him rather than stay home with Pratt. The father also said the child wanted to sleep in the same bed as his father.   

The father became suspicious after noticing the changes in the child’s behavior. He began reviewing video recordings taken from inside the home and discovered multiple disturbing videos, the police report states, including a video where Pratt is seen covering the 7-year-old victim’s head and body with a pillow and blanket and forcefully applying her bodyweight on top of the victim. The victim can be seen squirming in the video and later told detectives he could not breathe at the time, and was struggling to get out, the police report states.

Videos from other dates inside the residence show Pratt enter the victim’s bedroom and covertly approach the victim while he is asleep in bed. Pratt can be seen sprinkling an unknown substance on the victim’s head and face area, causing an immediate reaction to the child. This type of incident occurred on more than one occasion, the report states.

The father provided the videos to law enforcement. Pratt was arrested and taken to Monroe County Detention Center on Stock Island. 

Her arraignment, when she will enter a plea of guilty or not guilty, is scheduled for Aug. 26.

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office shows no prior arrests for Pratt. A search of county court records show only a 2019 eviction case against her and another individual for a rental property at 905 Catherine St., a block away from where she was arrested on Aug. 7.

Ambre Pratt’s Facebook page says she moved to Key West in November 2017.

If you would like to have the Weekly delivered to your mailbox or inbox along with our daily news blast, please subscribe here.

Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.