Updated: Aug 3
Familicide: a type of murder or murder-suicide in which a perpetrator kills multiple close family members in quick succession, most often children, relatives, spouse, siblings, or parents.
In January 2020, in the town of Celebration, FL, Anthony “Tony” Todt was found in his home with the bodies of his family – 42-year-old Megan Todt, and their three children: Alek, age 13; Tyler, age 11; and Zoe, age 4. The body of their dog Breezy was also found.
The police made this discovery when authorities executed a search warrant for Todt's failure to appear back in Connecticut to discuss charges of large-scale insurance fraud.
But who was Tony Todt and why did he commit such a heinous and unspeakable act?
Tony Todt was a physical therapist who ran Family Physical Therapy, a successful practice in Colchester, CT for nearly a decade. In fact, those of us here in CT who are in the field might have heard of him before he committed this atrocity. Tony was a big shot in the town of Colchester and was the go-to guy for anything PT-related. He was a man of the community – always helping when asked. If you needed anything, just ask Tony.
His wife Megan, whom he had been with since high school, also had an interest in physical therapy. She held her master’s degree from Sacred Heart University and home schooled their three children back in their Florida home while Tony ran the practice in Connecticut. He would fly to Florida on weekends to be with them.
In November 2019, staff at Family Physical Therapy began calling patients to let them know that Anthony had a family emergency and needed to fly down to Florida to be with his wife. However, his absence grew longer and longer, and his small hiatus turned into full-blown confusion. Patients were not receiving rescheduled appointment times, and nobody knew where Tony was or when he would be coming back. Eventually, patients were spontaneously told that the practice was closing.
In December of 2019, the Todt family’s relatives tried to reach them to no avail. When they contacted neighbors in Florida, they claimed that they hadn’t seen them either. The neighbors thought they were back in Connecticut for Christmas time.
When Megan’s aunt finally got a text response back from Megan, she grew increasingly more worried. At first, Megan said that the family was visiting St. Augustine and would not have their phones on them. Then, she exclaimed that the entire family was sick and could not talk on the phone. Finally, Tony texted Megan’s aunt back to let her know they arrived in St. Augustine and were going “off-grid.” This would be the last time anybody heard from the Todt family.
On December 29th, Tony’s sister called the Sheriff’s office in Florida to request a welfare check. When the police arrived, they noted that the blinds were shut, the lights were off, the doors were locked, and there was no movement inside the home.
On January 10th, she called again. Still, nobody had heard from any of the family. Now, even the Todt’s landlord called to request a welfare check. The Todts were behind on their rent, and she told the police that nobody had seen or heard Tony, Megan, or any of their three children for over a month. The eviction notice left on their front door was untouched.
At this point, a third party also called the Sheriff’s office to request a welfare check, but this time, it was the FBI. Tony had been under investigation back in CT for healthcare fraud, allegedly billing tens of thousands of dollars off Medicaid for appointments that never happened, dating all the way back to 2015. See, Tony was in communication with the FBI and had already admitted to what he was doing. Afterward, he told them that he was visiting his family in Florida and would be back soon. As we know now, that was obviously a lie.
On January 13th, the FBI arrived at the Todt residence in Celebration, FL with the intention of arresting Tony for failure to appear. Tony was sitting on the couch in the living room, relaxing. He seemed weak, fatigued, and partially incoherent. When asked where Megan and the kids were, he said Megan was upstairs sleeping and the kids were probably sleeping over a friend’s house.
When agents went upstairs, the first thing they noticed was the smell. Megan was found on the master bed and the children were found on a mattress next to it. The bodies were clearly there for quite a while – probably weeks. They were colorless and in an advanced state of decomposition. Tony told the FBI that he wanted to kill himself by taking Benadryl, so officers took him to a nearby hospital for evaluation – where he finally admitted to murdering his family. He was charged with four counts of 1st-degree murder and one count of animal cruelty.
During the investigation and subsequent autopsies, they found that the family were all stabbed to death after being drugged with Benadryl. With Zoe, the 4-year-old, they couldn’t be sure. Her body was so small and decomposed that a cause-of-death could not be officially determined.
In May of 2020, Tony made a phone call to his sister and told her that he could not remember the period from December until his arrest in mid-January, even though he stayed in the house with the bodies of his murdered family for two and a half weeks. According to Tony, he was not guilty, and he could not remember confessing to the crimes. In a letter to his father, he wrote that he was “10,000% innocent of the crimes” and wrote about his love for his family. Afterward, he blamed his wife, Megan.
According to Tony, Megan murdered their three children and the family dog before committing suicide in front of him. He blamed her depression, Lyme disease, history of miscarriages, and more for the motive behind why she did what she did. However, all the stab wounds on all family members (including Megan herself) were from a downward angle and direction, indicating homicide. He claimed that when he got home one day, he found Megan at the top of the stairs. When he asked her where the kids were, she said that “they’ll be fine now that you’re home.” She began ranting about an apocalyptic vision she had and an invasion that would take place, so she killed their children to release their souls. According to Tony, she was “saving them.” Tony also wrote that he planned to make a non-profit foundation in the names of his family once he got out of prison.
Tony Todt’s trial began in September 2021. During the trial, a video was shown of Tony being interviewed by police where he then slightly changed his story. Now, instead of his wife alone having apocalyptic visions and annihilating their family, he claimed that they together had a death pact.
"It appealed to her and appealed to me as well. Salvation and everlasting life,” Tony said.
On the night of the murders, he claims that he gave the family Benadryl to make them sleepy. He details that they killed their 4-year-old first: "She (Zoe) rolled and started swiveling and I put a hand over her mouth and laid on her to keep her down and put the pillow on top.”
Next was their 13-year-old son, Alexander: "I stabbed him, and he started kicking, was trying to get up and tried rolling. I reached around and held his nose and mouth, and he was rolling and kicking and eventually stopped."
After stabbing and suffocating 11-year-old Tyler next, Tony says his wife told him, "If you love me, you can do this. I want to be with my babies.” He suggested she take more Benadryl before killing her, which she did. Afterward, all he remembers is waking up in jail.
And that is Tony’s story. However, none of the evidence matches his claims and there is no proof that Megan was involved in any way. It seems that Tony could not fathom life in prison or his family finding out about his insurance fraud, so he chose to take a coward’s way out, and exterminated his entire family instead. The fact he is still lying about it shows that Tony Todt is truly a psychopath and has no remorse for his crimes. He is a burden and a stain on the field of physical therapy.
On April 14th, 2022, he was sentenced to four consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole. As irony dictates, he is now spending his life in prison anyway, and everyone knows of his crimes.
Thank you for reading our blog on ‘The Case of Anthony Todt.”