Before late December 2019, the Todt family presented a normal, happy picture. Wife Megan and her husband Tony were both physical therapists with a thriving practice in Colchester, Connecticut. Tony Todt’s past contained a dark secret, but on Facebook they seemed the perfect family, even living part-time in a cheerful Florida community planned by the Disney Company.
It was in that Celebration, Florida home, authorities now say, that Tony Todt snapped and murdered his entire family, including the family dog, Breezy. He remained inside the Celebration, Florida residence with the bodies for days, the sheriff says. Tony and Megan Todt owned a well-known physical therapy firm in Colchester, Connecticut.
The family pictures posted by Tony and his wife seemed loving. There’s Tony Todt with his three kids and Breezy on bicycles. There’s son Alek at a piano recital. In 2016, Tony wrote, “So thankful for these beautiful souls in my life,” making his profile picture one of his wife and kids. Four years ago, he posted an idyllic picture of Megan with one of the children on a beach.
“How time flies. That was on our favorite beach right?” Megan wrote in the comment thread. “Siesta Key,” Tony responded. In late December, there were five members of the Todt family – six if you count the dog. Today, there’s just one.
The Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson said in a January 15 news conference that a federal arrest warrant was being served for Anthony Todt when authorities discovered his family dead inside the residence and arrested Todt, 44, at the home. Authorities now say Tony Todt stabbed his wife and two of the kids.
“Deputies discovered four deceased individuals inside,” Gibson said. “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.” The children were Alek Todt, 13; Tyler Todt, 11; and Zoe Todt, 4.
“Anthony also killed their family dog, Breezy,” confirmed the emotional sheriff.
Celebration is a town located near Disney World. As News.com.au put it, it was constructed to be “an alternative life in a world that was struggling to maintain family values. If you wanted to embrace a fantasy world, you wanted to live in Celebration.” The site says the town was a cross between “the set of the original Stepford Wives movie or The Truman Show.”
Despite the happy pictures, Anthony Todt’s life seemed to be unraveling before the murders; his physical therapy license expired, he was under investigation by the Connecticut Attorney General, and he was hit with an eviction order from the family home in Celebration. His wife and kids were living in Florida, but he was working in Connecticut from Monday through Friday and flying to Celebration on the weekends. It’s not clear what sparked that downward spiral as it’s easy to find glowing reviews of Todt’s physical therapy firm online. “This is crazy! He’s my mom’s physical therapist. She has seen him like twice a week for YEARS,” wrote one shocked woman on Twitter.
Todt was under investigation on an open “False Claims Act investigation,” the Connecticut AG’s office told journalist Ashley Afonso. Authorities have not released the specifics of that case.
His past contained a dark secret. In a bizarre twist of deja vu, Heavy.com has learned that Tony Todt’s father, Robert Todt, was convicted in a 1980 failed murder for hire plot in which Robert’s wife (Tony’s mother) was shot in the eye by Robert’s former student. Tony Todt, then age 4, witnessed part of the attack. You can read more about that angle here.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Sheriff Says Todt Is Believed to Have Killed the Family in Late December 2019 & Extended Family Members Were Told the Todt Family All Had the Flu
Anthony Todt was arrested on a warrant for multiple counts of homicide and one count of felony animal cruelty. “We strongly believe that they are Megan, Alex, Tyler, and Zoe,” the sheriff repeated, pausing emotionally when he read little Zoe’s date of birth out loud.
The deaths occurred towards the end of December 2019, he said. That presents the additional horrific detail that Todt remained inside the home for days with the bodies, even texting worried family members.
Concerned family members created a Facebook page for the missing Todts called “Looking for the Todt Family.” They said that they last heard from the Todt family on January 6, 2020, via a text from Tony. Family posts indicated that the couple was from Colchester, Connecticut. Tony’s full name is Anthony Todt.
“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,” the sheriff said in the news conference. Authorities went to the home but weren’t able to contact anyone inside the home and “did not observe anything suspicious.”
The bodies were “inside the home the entire time,” said Gibson, who added that Tony Todt was taken to the hospital because he had taken “some pills” and made comments about self harm.
“This family was known to travel,” said the sheriff. “Anthony Todt has his physical therapy firm in Connecticut.” He said that Todt would work in Connecticut from Monday through Friday before traveling to Florida to spend the weekends with his family, who had been living in Florida for a couple years.
On January 9, 2020, federal agents contacted the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department concerning an investigating they were conducting involving Anthony Todt. They tried to contact Anthony and the family with “negative results.” There was no answer. “It brings me great sadness to report such a tragedy,” said the sheriff. “…I can not understand what would cause a person to commit such evil or horrendous acts.”
He said the manner in which the family members were killed is not yet clear, and he didn’t know where the bodies were found in the home.
The first sign that the Todt family might have met with foul play came when the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department wrote on January 13, 2020, “OCSO deputies are conducting a death investigation in the North Village area at Celebration.” In their initial news conference, authorities said, “This is an isolated incident, and all parties involved with this death investigation are accounted for.” They were cryptic about the details.
A woman who is an administrator on the family’s page wrote this on Facebook, “I am so sorry to report that 4 bodies have been found (not identified) in celebration, Florida today. Tony is at the hospital. We have no further details and we will update you when we know more. Please pray for the family.” The authorities have not confirmed that information.
Amanda Dukes, a journalist with WESH-TV, shared the above photo of a man being arrested and wrote on Twitter, “Neighbors in Celebration say this is a photo of a man being arrested today by @OsceolaSheriff deputies at 202 Reserve place, a home where they are doing a death investigation. One neighbor says they had called police after not seeing the family’s children for several days.”
Here’s a screenshot from Florida court records on the eviction showing the same address for the Todts:
Court records show the complaint for eviction was filed against the couple on December 22, 2019 regarding the Celebration home. The case remained open. A summons was sent on December 26.
Dukes also wrote: “This is the home in Celebration where deputies are doing a death investigation. Neighbors say around 9:30 AM the father of the family that lives in the home was seen being ordered out by deputies with guns drawn and was taken away in handcuffs.”
2. Tony Todt Owns a Physical Therapy Company in Connecticut Where Megan, a Yoga Instructor With a Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy, Also Worked
On LinkedIn, Tony Todt said he was the owner of Family Physical Therapy in Colchester and East Hampton Connecticut for more than 11 years. He listed no other employment. He wrote that he had an MSPT in Physical Therapy from Sacred Heart University. He is also affiliated with an LLC called Performance Edge Sports. However, his state license expired in September, and his wife’s was about to expire too.
However, authorities now allege that Tony Todt was “fraudulently charging tens of thousands of dollars in fake physical therapy appointments,” according to Hartford Courant, which said he closed the practice in November.
The Facebook page for Family Physical Therapy describes it as the following: “At Family PT in CT, we use patient-centered approaches to focus on the whole individual, together, as a family. Our experienced clinicians will help you set and reach your goals – from improving daily tasks to training athletes. No matter the cause, we will create a plan that will ensure your success each time you walk through our door!”
The company’s website lists Megan as a physical therapist too, writing:
“Megan Todt, MSPT, RYT received her Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy from Sacred Heart University in 2001, which included rotations in Pediatrics, Acute Care, Outpatient PT, and Skilled Nursing Facilities. She has extensive knowledge in Pediatric Physical Therapy throughout the country, being licensed in Connecticut, California, and Florida. After receiving her Master’s Degree, Megan pursued her 200 Hour Certification as a Yoga Instructor and is also licensed as a Rehabilitative Yoga Instructor. Megan possesses extensive knowledge in Pediatric Therapy and has integrated Yoga into her overall Therapy Practice. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, being a mom, hiking, reading, and traveling.”
Tony Todt’s biography on his website reads as follows:
“Anthony J. Todt, MSPT, CSCS, SAQ received his Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy 1999 from Sacred Heart University, which included rotations and internships in Home Care, Outpatient Physical Therapy, Wound Management, Acute Post Surgical Therapy, and Inpatient Rehabilitation. Anthony is licensed in California, Florida, and Connecticut and has had the fortune to further his Physical Therapy experience through experiences throughout the country and his involvement in rehabilitating professional athletes, progressive surgical procedures, and continues to improve his knowledge through continuing education in the same. After receiving his Master’s Degree, Anthony became a National Certified Sports and Conditioning Specialist and a NESTA Speed, Agility and Quickness Coach.”
The biography continues: “Before Family Physical Therapy, he also worked at Gaylord Rehabilitation Outpatient Facility where he gained extensive knowledge in Aquatic Therapy and Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation. He treats using knowledge in Integrative Manual Therapy, Craniosacral Therapy, Trigger Point Release, Muscle Energy Techniques, Mulligan and Mackenzie Techniques, Specialized Therapeutic Exercise, and Maitland manual therapy techniques. Anthony especially enjoys working with knee injuries, especially those of athletes. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with family, coaching in the community, watching his clients’ athletic competitions, and being the fourth kid in his family of two sons and one daughter.”
People left positive reviews on the page for Tony Todt. In October 2019, a patient wrote, “Tony is the absolute best. He really cares about everyone who walks through the door and he helped me so much with my foot pain. He is a good human and amazing PT. I highly recommend him and the others in his practice. Trustworthy, kind, and he truly knows his stuff.”
A woman wrote on the family’s Facebook group page, “I am shocked by this news, I would have seen Tony last in the office (I am guessing the week Before he left for FL).. We were pretty chatty (I have been seeing Tony since about 2008, we have always been pretty friendly) I was sensing his being somewhat stressed by ‘life’ his commute and whatnot, but was not under the impression he would do anything that would leave him out of communication. I am worried, praying for their safety and would certainly convey any information I come across!”
Another woman wrote, “I was seeing your brother for physical therapy. The last time i saw him was the wk before Thanksgiving. After that the office called me and cancelled all my future appts saying Tony was dealing with a personal matter. I reached out to him in December but got no response. Hope you find something out soon. Keeping your family in my thoughts.”
In 2017, the couple sold property in Connecticut worth $348,000.
3. Frantic Family Members Were Searching for Any Information About the Missing Todt Family for Days
Before the bodies were found, the family posted repeatedly on its Facebook page devoted to the missing Todts. People indicated on the page that the Todt children were homeschooled.
A man wrote on Facebook, “I’ve known Tony and Megan since high school, two wonderful people with awesome kids, I’m sick to my stomach I just want them to be safe.”
On the family’s Facebook page, Alicia Schmidt wrote, “Hi, we are looking for our family. We are seeking information on their last communications to others. Please let us know the last time you’ve heard from the Todt’s: Tony,Megan, and the kids. At this time, we are seeking information. Please do not message the family asking for details as it is a sensitive matter and we are just looking for Information. If you haven’t heard from them or don’t even know them, please help us by sharing the page.” Family members wrote that they had last heard from the Todts on January 6, 2020, via a text from Tony.
Family members posted this list of questions and answers.
What kind of car are they driving? We don’t know. We know where their vehicles are.
When did you last hear from them? 1/6. The family was in Florida at this time.
Could they have just unplugged? No, they always give us a head’s up beforehand.
Could they be on vacation? No, they would have let us know.
Who is missing? The Todt Family. Tony, Megan, Alek, Tyler, Zoe and their dog Breezy.
Can you ping their phone? Yes, but there is a process.
Can you use find your phone? There is a process.
Why is there no sort of alert? The FL and CT authorities are involved in the case. They are aware of the situation. We are respectfully following their lead.
A woman wrote to the page, “My husband saw them Dec 15th. 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. They were in their vehicle that was packed on Dec 15th. 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.”
4. People Expressed Their Affection for the Todts, Describing How They Saw Them Walking Their Dog & Had Other Communication in November & December
Chrissy Todt Caplet wrote on Facebook, “This is a very personal post but we are asking for your help. Please let me know the last time you have spoken to, texted or messaged my brother Tony, Meg or the kids. In due time we can explain but rigt now we are looking for them and are worried.”
A woman responded on the family’s page, “Hello, I recognize them from living right around the corner. I’d say the last time I saw them was around Thanksgiving time and they were all walking the dog as a family. I thought that they just went away for the holidays because their blinds are all closed and they still have their decorative pumpkins out in the yard. The wife seemed to be a very nice lady and they appeared to be a very nice family.”
Another wrote, “Tony and I coached our kids in soccer a couple seasons ago. Alek, Tyler and my daughter always play soccer and basketball together outside in our alley. They recently moved across the street from us . I saw them outside maybe a couple weeks ago. Love them all!!! So worried about them. Anything we can do please let me know.”
A woman responded, “Megan posted a comment on Jenny’s Halloween post on November 1st. Thinking about you all. ❤️”
A woman wrote, “I’m in shock reading this. Tony and Meg have been dear friends for years. I haven’t talked to him in awhile but I know the last few years have been rough for him. The last time I saw him in August I was concerned for him. I will share this page and any information I hear. I’m praying for all of you. They mean a lot to me.” Another added, “Dec 24th at 11:09 is my last communication with Tony. I am worried sick because he means a lot to me.”
Even one of the children’s teachers weighed in, writing, “I am praying for their safe return. I am Alek’s teacher and we last heard from him via text on Dec 16th. I last communicated with Megan on Dec. 13th. They are a beautiful family and we’re all praying for them.” Another added, “We last saw them & spoke with them in mid November. We had dinner in their home one night and another night kept the kids for them to go out. We LOVE this family. We live in the same condo building they own a condo in and near their new home. Please let us know how we can help!!!”
One woman called them an amazing family, writing, “I’d just like to say they are such an amazing family. Our kids played at the park together here in celebration and I live just around the corner. The boys would ride their bikes and they are all so friendly. I feel like I may have seen them around early December, could have been around thanksgiving though. Really hoping for their safe return and will update if I by chance see them or hear anything ?”
Relatives said Tony had been down in Florida when the family vanished. Heavy.com reached out to two of Todt’s family members for additional information.
5. The Couple Plastered Their Facebook Page With Family Photos But Tony Todt Carried a Tragic Family History
On Facebook, Megan Todt wrote that she studied at Sacred Heart University, lives in Colchester, Connecticut, was from Uncasville, Connecticut, and was married to Tony Todt.
She, as with Tony, plastered her Facebook page with family photos. In July, Megan wrote, “We are so blessed to be a part of the Annie Moses Band Summer Music Festival. It is definitely stretching Alek and Tyler to grow in every direction possible. Here they are playing Henry Mancini’s Baby Elephant Walk in the first show of the festival. Three more shows to go. ????”
The family also had a YouTube page where they posted videos of their kids.
However, Tony’s happy family posturing on Facebook belied a terrible past: His father’s conviction for allegedly masterminding a plot to have a former student murder Tony’s mother back in 1980. It was a sensational case that generated news headlines in Pennsylvania at the time.
When Tony Todt was 4 years old, he told a detective he heard his mother scream and saw a man “wrestling with her on a bed,” the night Loretta Todt was shot in the face. She survived but lost an eye. Her husband, Robert Todt, a special education teacher and wrestling coach at a Pennsylvania high school, would later be convicted of hiring a former learning disabled student to pull the trigger.
It was a sensational case that generated piles of newspaper headlines in 1980. Today, Robert Todt, Tony Todt’s father, is still alive. In fact, he’s free, active on Facebook, remarried, and he maintains social media links with some members of the Todt family, but not Tony.
Tony’s mom, Loretta, made it through the horrific shooting attack, but she woke up to another nightmare: The court system said her husband was the mastermind. The convicted triggerman in Loretta’s shooting was John Chairmonte. A story in the Bucks County Courier Times in 2015 says that Chairmonte was convicted in the 1980 “failed murder for hire plot.”
In 2014, Chairmonte found himself back in court, accused of setting an arson fire to commit insurance fraud.
Chairmonte was 20 when he pleaded guilty to shooting Loretta Todt “in the eye” as part of the plot “orchestrated by her husband,” the newspaper reported. Loretta Todt lost her eye in the shooting. Chairmonte was Robert’s former student. The article says Chairmonte cut a deal to testify against Robert, so he got only four years, whereas Robert ended up with a conviction and prison term of 10-20 on attempted murder, criminal solicitation, and conspiracy charges. That sentence was later reduced.
A 1983 Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision gives further details of the case. “Robert Todt was arrested on July 25, 1980 and charged with offenses involving the shooting of his wife, Loretta Todt,” it says. “The case came to trial before the Honorable Edmund V. Ludwig and a jury and after a lengthy trial, Robert Todt was found guilty of attempted homicide, criminal conspiracy and criminal solicitation.”
The Todts had two children; the other, Christine, has been involved in the family’s Facebook group designed to help find the five family members who went missing. You can see a photo of Loretta and Robert Todt here.
“Robert Todt was a board certified special education teacher employed as a high school teacher by the Bensalem Township School District,” the court documents say. “Todt lived in Levittown, Pennsylvania with his wife Loretta and their two children. In the late evening of March 19, 1980, while Robert Todt was out of the house, an individual entered the Todt residence and shot Loretta Todt. Although the bullet fired destroyed her left eye and remains lodged in her skull, Loretta Todt survived the attack.”
The court decision also says:
At trial, the Commonwealth’s most important witness was John Chairmonte. Chairmonte, a former student in Bensalem High School’s program for students with learning disabilities, was an alcohol and drug abuser with a criminal record. His involvement with the attack upon Loretta Todt was revealed after his arrest on an unrelated charge. John Chairmonte admitted that he shot Loretta Todt at Robert Todt’s behest. In exchange for testimony against Todt, Chairmonte was promised that his sentence for shooting Loretta Todt would not exceed five years to be served in the Bucks County Prison.
Chairmonte testified that in March of 1980 Robert Todt offered him $800 to kill a woman Todt described as a babysitter. Todt gave Chairmonte a .32 caliber pistol and some bullets. Three days before the shooting Todt went to Chairmonte’s home, woke him up and brought him to Todt’s home. Todt and Chairmonte then drove to Frankford Hospital, where Loretta Todt worked. As explained by Chairmonte, the plan was for him to surprise Loretta Todt as she entered her car after work, take her to a back road and shoot her. Chairmonte was, however, too frightened to carry out this scheme.
A new scheme was developed, and Todt gave Chairmonte a key to Todt’s house. On March 19, 1980, Chairmonte entered the Todt house through the garage, shot Loretta Todt and rifled several drawers to make it look as though a burglary had taken place.
The prosecutor said at trial, “Loretta Todt is stuck for as long as she lives with a bullet in the back of her brain. And that’s sad.”
Robert admitted he was having an extra-marital affair, according to the court documents, but he denied being involved in the shooting plot. “Todt denied hiring John Chairmonte to kill his wife Loretta. Todt admitted that he had gone to Chairmonte’s home and brought Chairmonte to his own house but insisted that he only helped Chairmonte fill out an application for a job,” the court decision says. Robert was with another woman – also a former student – who testified that she thought they were engaged to be married despite the fact he was married to Loretta.
According to a Sept. 8, 1981 article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, police interviewed the Todts’ son, Anthony, then 4. “The boy said he woke up hearing his mother screaming.”
When he walked into the hallway, he said a “black man with a ‘T’ carved on his forehead picked the boy up and put him back in bed.” He saw another man “wrestling with Mommy on her bed.” The article describes the senior Todt as a “former special education teacher and wrestling coach at Bensalem High School.”
By 1981, the story said, Loretta had filed for divorce and “moved Anthony to another bedroom in hopes of stopping the nightmares.” However, it took a year. A December 1980 story in the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that, even when Todt was convicted, Loretta and the two children continued to live with him.