Report: Todt family bodies were found wrapped in blankets and dead for weeks
The bodies of the Todt family were found wrapped in blankets and decomposing in a second-floor bedroom in the Celebration, Fla., home the family rented, according to reports released Friday by the Osceola County Sheriff's Office.
Colchester business owner Anthony Todt, who police say confessed last week to killing his wife, Megan, their three children and the family dog, was upstairs with the bodies when police arrived at the home to arrest Todt on a warrant out of Connecticut on Jan. 13. His family had likely been dead for weeks, according to the medical examiner.
The Sheriff's Office said Friday that it won't be releasing records of Todt's confession, which was redacted in an arrest warrant affidavit that was ordered unsealed Thursday, but released several incident reports that provide new details in the quadruple murder that has rocked the Colchester and Celebration communities.
The incident reports show that police and FBI made multiple visits to the home the Todts rented at 202 Reserve Road in Celebration, where the bodies of wife Megan, the couple's three children, Alek, 13, Tyler, 11, and Zoe, 4, and their family dog, Breezy, were found on Jan. 13.
The reports say that on Jan. 13, police arrived at the address after federal agents surveilling the home saw Todt, who goes by Tony, enter the home. Officers knocked on the door, shouting, "Police, Tony come to the door, we have a warrant for your arrest."
No one responded, so the officers entered the home. One officer reported that they could smell a strong odor of decomposition immediately.
Officers reported that they heard a man's voice coming from upstairs and then saw Todt holding onto the railings of the second floor trying to walk down the stairs. "He was shaking and could hardly walk," one officer reported.
Police helped Todt walk down the stairs and he told them his wife was upstairs and that he thought she was sleeping.
Police called out to Megan but no one answered.
Deputy Christopher Boos reported that he walked upstairs and saw a bedroom door open to the right. Through the door, he could see that two people were laying on a mattress on the floor covered with blankets, the incident report said.
There was a bed in the room, the deputy walked over to it and called out to Megan. She didn't answer. He pulled back a blanket and saw Megan's decomposing body.
The officer then pulled back the blankets that were covering two people on the mattress on the floor and found the two young boys dead. He then found Zoe wrapped in blankets at the foot of the bed, also dead.
Preliminary autopsy results released Thursday found that Megan and the boys had been stabbed. There was no evidence of injury on Zoe. The medical examiner said the dog also had been stabbed multiple times.
Megan had been stabbed twice in the abdomen and Alek and Tyler had each been stabbed once in the abdomen, according to the autopsy reports. No cause of death has been determined, but all four deaths were ruled homicides.
Chief Medical Examiner Joshua Stephany of the District Nine Medical Examiner's Office, which serves Orange and Osceola counties in Florida, said Friday that the family likely had been dead for weeks. The medical examiner's office said it could be 10 to 12 weeks before results of toxicology tests on the family were available and Stephany said the preliminary results should be considered rough drafts.
The preliminary autopsy results found no visible injuries on Zoe. Stephany said she may not have been injured, or her injuries just may no longer be visible. "Because of the condition of the bodies, there may be injuries we can't see," he said Friday.
Stephany said another possible cause of death that would not leave any visible injuries would be smothering.
The bodies of the slain Todt family and their dog are still in Florida, he said.
Police first visited the home on Dec. 29, weeks before the bodies were found, after Todt's sister Chrissy Caplet of Bozrah called police to ask for a well-being check, worried that the Todts had the flu.
Police visited the Todt home about 9 p.m. that night but did not make contact with the family. For 10 days, there were no further attempts by police to check on them.
Records show that on Jan. 9 and Jan. 10, FBI agents were trying to make contact with the family through the sheriff's office.
On Jan. 10, Officer Alexander Hogue from the sheriff's office went to the home the family rented and to the condo they owned at 211 Longview Ave. just before 5 p.m. According to his report, Caplet called the sheriff's office requesting another well-being check on Jan. 10.
Caplet told Hogue that her brother worked in Colchester, where he owned two physical therapy practices, during the week but spent weekends in Florida with his wife and kids, who were living there full time.
Caplet said Todt left Connecticut on Nov. 11 to fly to Florida for Thanksgiving and then told her that his family had the flu, so he was going to stay in Florida longer. Caplet mentioned that her sister-in-law had other medical issues.
Caplet told dispatchers that she had not heard from her brother, his wife or children since Jan. 6, when she and Todt's other sister received a text from him. The same day they received that text, Todt's cellphone was found at a Starbucks in Sarasota, Fla. The person who found the phone said they were going to turn it in to police. Since then, the family's phones had all been going straight to voicemail.
Caplet also told police that an eviction notice had been posted on her brother's Colchester business, though the report did not say at which location, and that several of his employees had called her to say that they had not received their paychecks.
Hogue reported that he knocked on the front door and the door of the home's in-law suite several times but no one answered. The doors were locked and the blinds were closed, so he couldn't tell if any lights were on, he said in his incident report.
Hogue said he checked the mailbox and found mail dating back to Jan. 6. He also found a card, left on the door on the afternoon of Dec. 31, regarding the family's eviction from the home.
Court records show that the family was being evicted for failure to pay rent.
At their condo, Hogue again knocked and received no answer, and found another card stuck into the door about an eviction. The Todts also were being evicted from the condo they owned, records show.
The family's van, a maroon Honda Odyssey, was found backed in behind Building 11 in the condominium complex, though the family owned a unit in Building 9.
Hogue reported that he also spoke with an FBI agent who said she spoke with Todt in November, just before he left for Florida, regarding the case against him.
The officer said she returned to the Todts' residences on Jan. 11 and their van was parked in the same spot. Again, no one answered the doors.
Hogue spoke with neighbor Tracy Eno, who said she often dog sat for the family and had keys to their homes, which she offered to let police use.
Eno said she texted Megan on Jan. 6 to let her know about the card on their door. Megan replied to the text and said "Ok thanks." Eno never heard from her again.
Todt was charged on Jan. 15 with four counts of premeditated murder and one count of cruelty to animals. Police say he confessed to the murders but they won't release his confession, citing a Florida state statute.
Todt was being held without bail in Osceola County jail. He made his first court appearance Jan. 16, represented by a public defender, but did not enter a plea. At the time of the deaths, Todt was being investigated by the FBI and Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General for multiple accusations of fraud.
Stories that may interest you
A city man was charged with alleged possession of illegal drugs and a firearm Thursday afternoon.
Police are looking to identify a woman who spent hundreds of dollars at Waterford stores this week using counterfeit bills.
The state Judicial Branch on Friday announced plans to reopen multiple state courthouses, including New London’s G.A. 10 on Broad Street, as restrictions put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic are being lifted.