Anthony Todt, 44, is pictured in his booking photo after being arrested in four counts of premeditated murder and one count of animal cruelty for the killings of his wife, three children and the family dog
Authorities in Florida have revealed that the father who has confessed to killing his family had lived with the bodies of his wife, three children and their dog for at least two weeks before police came to arrest him.
Anthony Todt, his wife of 20 years, Megan, and their children, Alex, Tyler and Zoe, were reported missing last week from the Disney-developed gated community of Celebration, located on the outskirts of Disney Hollywood Studios theme park.
Neighbors hadn’t seen them since mid-December and relatives said they hadn’t heard from them since January 6.
But cops say the physical therapist, 44, was replying to text messages from loved ones while living with their lifeless bodies for at least two weeks.
It has emerged that Todt owed $100,000 to creditors, was on the verge of eviction after falling behind on rent payments and was being investigated by federal agents for suspected Medicaid fraud related to his businesses in Connecticut.
The manner in which they died and where they were found in the home has not yet been made public. However, they are believed to have died ‘sometime toward the end of December’.
Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson said Wednesday: ‘I can tell you on December 29, 2019, our office received a request by a family member of Anthony Todt who resides outside of the State of Florida to check the well-being of the Todt family because she had been told they had the flu, and she had not heard from them for two days’ .
He said authorities went to the home on Reserve Place but weren’t able to contact anyone inside.
However, it wasn’t a concern as Todt, who owned practices in Connecticut, was known to travel during the week and fly back to Florida for weekends.
Cops ‘did not observe anything suspicious’ during the visit.
Todt confessed to killing his wife Megan, their children Alex, Tyler and Zoe, and their dog, according to police. They were reported missing by family members a week ago but neighbors hadn’t seen them since mid-December
Cops said he was taken to hospital after having taken some pills when they arrested him. He is pictured Wednesday being led from Sheriff’s Office Administration Building to be transport to jail
On Monday, officers confirmed four bodies had been found inside the home in Celebration – a gated community designed and developed by Walt Disney. Police said the family had been inside the entire time and Todt sent messages to relatives as he lived with the bodies
But they returned to the physical therapist’s home on Monday – a day after a concerned neighbor called them.
They obtained a warrant to enter the property and found the family had been ‘inside the home the entire time’.
‘Deputies discovered four deceased individuals inside,’ Sheriff Russ Gibson said.
Todt was arrested at gunpoint in front of shocked neighbors. Police added that Todt was taken to hospital after taking Benadryl and making comments about harming himself.
Todt was pictured Wednesday in a white jumpsuit after his release from hospital and while being transported to jail.
He was booked on four counts of premeditated murder and one count of animal cruelty.
The sheriff continued: ‘The cause of death of the four decedents inside the home is homicide. Anthony has cooperated with the investigation, and he has confessed to killing his wife Megan Todt, 42 years of age…and their three children.’
He added: ‘Anthony also killed their family dog, Breezy.’
Todt’s sister, Chrissy Caplet, released a statement to CNN that read: ‘Tony and Megan were devoted loving parents who loved their children and Breezy every day and were so involved in their community. The families of Tony and Megan ask for privacy during this difficult time in our lives as we mourn the lose [sic] of our families.’
The Hartford Courant reported that Todt was being investigated by US Department of Health and Human services and the FBI since April 2019 over allegations of health care fraud.
According to an affidavit, Todt, who operated two physical therapy businesses in Connecticut – including Performance Edge Sports LLC and Family Physical Therapy – billed Medicaid for tens of thousands of dollars worth of bogus appointment.
He then used the misbegotten money to make payments on more than 20 short-term, high-interest loans he took from various lenders.
Todt allegedly admitted to the fraud, telling investigators that he was living well above his means and claiming that his wife knew nothing of his debts.
Five patients of Todt’s have come forward, accusing the physical therapist of billing Medicaid and private insurance companies for tens of thousands of dollars for treatments they never received.
In one case involving a young basketball player, Todt billed Medicaid for more than $24,000 in treatment he never performed, according to the affidavit.
The document recounted how the father-of-three billed Medicaid for therapy sessions even when his offices were closed, and how he inflated the frequency of treatments for patients when submitting his claims to insurance companies.
Todt reportedly admitted to the fraud during his interview with a government agent and said he wished to plead guilty.
They had recently moved from Connecticut to the rented home in Florida on the outskirts of Disney World and in December were served with an eviction notice for their rented home
They own two physical therapist businesses and owe two creditors $100,000 after defaulting accounts from 2018
Family said they last heard from them January 6 but Todt sent messages to relatives as he lived with the bodies. Cops first did a welfare check at the home December 29 after family reported concerns. Authorities weren’t able to contact anyone inside but weren’t concerned as the family often traveled
Cops returned to the home Monday with a warrant to enter after neighbors contacted them and federal police said they were unable to get in contact
The Todts had recently moved from Colchester, Connecticut, to Celebration, Florida. They had lived in Florida two years, and court documents show the couple was served with an eviction notice December 22.
A total of $6,300 was reportedly owed for December ($4,921) and January rents at the North Village home. The couple’s one-year lease runs until the end of April 2020.
However, they owned another home 500 feet away on Longview Avenue.
Anthony obtained a physical therapy license in Connecticut in 1999, but the state says his credentials lapsed on September 9, 2019, after they were not renewed.
According to Family Physical Therapy’s ebsite, Megan was a physical therapy instructor at the business. Both Anthony and Megan earned master’s degrees in physical therapy and Megan was also a qualified yoga instructor.
Megan’s licence was active until the end of January.
The landlords of that business office were in the process of eviction for the Middletown Road location last week, the Hartford Courant reports.
He owned $100,000 to two creditors, and two New York investment firms sued Todt in early 2019.
The suspect had agreed to fulfill payments to Green Capital Funding LLC by June 2018 and stopped sending any payment by December 2018.
He owed the company $63,525, including interest and attorney’s fees on a $50,218 damage claim, according to the Norwich Bulletin. The company sued him January 24, 2019.
He stopped paying Business Merchant Funding in February then they sued him in March. He owed them $36,200.
Mr Todt was under probe in an open ‘False Claims Act investigation’ but details are under seal. A neighbor said Todt was led out of the house at gunpoint Friday before being arrested in front of the house
On Wednesday, it was unclear how they died and where they were found at home Friday
Pictured: Authorities appear to be loading bodies into a hearse outside the home in Celebration, Florida
Mr Todt was also under probe in an open ‘False Claims Act investigation’, Attorney William Tong confirmed to Fox 16 on Tuesday. Details of the case connected to Connecticut are sealed.
Federal agents said they had ‘negative results’ when they tried to contact the family, and on January 9 contacted local police.
‘It brings me great sadness to report such a tragedy,’ the sheriff continued in the news conference. ‘I can not understand what would cause a person to commit such evil or horrendous acts.
‘But I can say that if there’s any one person or any family out there that’s going through a crisis or a difficult situation, there’s help out there for you.’
When Todt was only four years old his father was convicted of the attempted murder of Todt’s mother, Loretta Schmid.
Robert Todt was having an affair and the wrestling teacher ordered one of his special education students to kill his wife, but the mother survived being shot in the face, however she lost an eye in the 1980 incident.
Both Anthony and Megan earned master’s degrees in physical therapy and Megan was also a qualified yoga instructor
Pictured: a residential eviction document filed on December 22 against Anthony and Megan Todt at the home address in Celebration, Florida
After the family were feared missing, a Facebook group titled ‘Looking for the Todt Family’ was created where one family friend wrote: ‘Worried sick! I keep sending them messages on messenger and they are being sent but not delivered. I’m guessing their phones are off. Praying for their safe return.’
Social media posts indicated the children were home-schooled.
A neighbor said her husband last saw the family in a packed vehicle on December 15.
‘They are our neighbors and my kids play with them. He speaks to them often when he is walking our dog bc Megan is often out walking theirs. My kids haven’t played with them since before Christmas because they have not seen them outside,’ she wrote.
‘My husband was going to offer them our beach buckets bc he was going to toss them and he assumed they were going on vacation because of the way their vehicle was packed.’
The First Selectman’s Office Town of Colchester said the news was ‘shocking’.
For confidential support call the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255.