Police: CT man charged in killing of wife, 3 kids, family dog
A Colchester man has been charged with killing his wife, their three children and the family’s dog in a case that law enforcement in Florida — where it all happened — called “evil and horrendous.”
Police confirmed during a Wednesday afternoon news conference that 42-year-old Megan Todt, 13-year-old Alek Todt, 11-year-old Tyler Todt and 4-year-old Zoe Todt were killed sometime in late December. The family’s dog, Breezy, was also killed.
Reading through the names and ages of the victim, Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson got choked up sharing the age and date of birth for the couple’s youngest child.
Anthony Todt, 44, was charged Wednesday with multiple counts of homicide and one count of felony animal cruelty, Gibson said.
“Anthony has cooperated with the investigation and he has confessed to killing his wife Megan Todt ... and their three children,” Gibson said. “Anthony also killed their family dog, Breezy.”
But investigators don’t think the killings happened Monday, or even a few days prior. Gibson said the investigation and Anthony Todt’s statements to investigators so far have revealed that the homicides happened in late December.
“The bodies were inside the home the entire time until we located them on Monday,” Gibson said.
The Todt family were first brought to the attention of Florida law enforcement on Dec. 29.
A family member of Anthony Todt reached out to Florida police to check on the well-being of the Todt family. She told police she was told the family had the flu. She said she hadn’t heard from any of them in two days.
Gibson said deputies responded to the family’s home at 202 Reserve Place in Celebration, Fla., but were unable to make contact with anyone.
The deputies checked around the residence and noticed the blinds were closed, but ultimately they did not report anything suspicious and left.
Gibson said it’s possible that when deputies responded to the home in late December, the family members and the family dog might have already been killed.
Then, Gibson said, on Jan. 9 federal agents got in touch with Osceola County Sheriff’s Office about an investigation involving Anthony Todt. Gibson said the investigation involved local police or a local branch of federal government in Connecticut.
“It was something that was occurring up there in Connecticut,” Gibsons aid.
Again, deputies responded to the home — this time alongside federal agents.
And again, the law enforcement officers were unable to get in touch with anyone at the home. That pattern continued throughout the weekend. But again, Gibson said, there was nothing suspicious to push them to further investigate.
“This family was known to travel,” Gibson said, adding that it wouldn’t be unusual for them to have picked up and gone somewhere for the day or the week.
So on Monday deputies again responded to the Reserve Place home with federal agents to serve an arrest warrant for Anthony Todt from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“Deputies made contact with Anthony (Todt) in the home with federal agents and he was immediately detained. A safety check of the home was conducted where deputies discovered four deceased individuals inside,” Gibson said.
But before law enforcement could formally charge Anthony Todt, he was taken to a local hospital.
“He may have ingested some dosage of Benadryl ... and he also made comments of potentially harming himself and so we took him to the hospital as a precautionary measure,” Gibson said.
He was released from the hospital Wednesday, which is when he was charged with the homicide and animal cruelty offenses.
Gibson said Anthony Todt was transported to the Osceola County jail Wednesday afternoon.
Gibson said he hasn’t been made aware of whether Anthony Todt has told investigators why he allegedly killed his family, but did say that Anthony Todt has been “cooperating with the investigation.”
Autopsies were performed Tuesday and the manner of death for the four family members were each ruled homicide.
“This is despicable and cannot be tolerated anywhere in the United States of America, let alone Osceola County,” Gibson said.
He wouldn’t say how the wife and children died, but said he wanted to wait until the coroner released definitive findings — “This is still very much an active investigation.”
Gibson said he was unsure whether Anthony Todt told investigators why he allegedly killed his family, but did say that Anthony Todt has been “cooperating with the investigation.”
“We grieve along with the victims’ family and friends, along with the community, for this tragic loss of innocent lives,” Gibson said. “Myself, I cannot understand what would cause a person to commit such evil and horrendous acts.”
Up until Wednesday’s news conference, police in Florida had been tight-lipped about the investigation since the bodies were discovered Monday.
Speculation was in abundance over whether those involved were linked to the Todt family, who have extensive ties to Connecticut.
Although the family had been living in Florida for “the past couple of years, give or take,” according to Gibson, Anthony Todt did not live in Florida full-time.
He said Anthony Todt worked Monday through Friday in Connecticut, then returned to Florida on the weekends.
In December, an eviction suit was filed with the Osceola County clerk’s office over alleged non-payment for the family’s Florida home. According to the lease, which was filed as an exhibit with the court, the family had been in the home since May.
Megan Todt’s Facebook page indicated that she studied at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield. The university did not immediately respond to Hearst Connecticut Media’s request for confirmation on this Wednesday.
Anthony Todt and Megan Todt are listed as the owners of Family Physical Therapy, which has locations at 7 Park Ave. and 744 Middletown Road in Colchester, according to the business Facebook page.
Connecticut Department of Public Health medical licensing records indicated that Anthony Todt allowed his license as a physical therapist to expire in September. His license was listed as being out of Celebration, Fla.
Megan Todt’s license as a physical therapist would set to expire Jan. 30, DPH records show. Her license is out of Kissimmee, Fla., records show.
Town officials in Colchester issued a statement Monday as the investigation in Florida was still unfolding and said services would be offered in the schools for students who needed it.
Colchester First Selectman Mary Bylone in a statement Monday called the news shocking and heartbreaking.
“I know that the thoughts and prayers of our entire community are with the relatives and friends of the family involved,” Bylone added. “We can’t always make sense of moments like this, but we can support each other.”
Colchester Superintendent of Schools Jeffrey Burt said in a statement Wednesday that the entire town is grieving.
“As a close-knit community, we have come together and aligned our schools’ crisis teams with local mental health counseling resources to assist students who may be struggling with this shocking and deeply upsetting news,” Burt said.
Reporting by the Associated Press was included in this story.