A father who confessed in January to murdering his family inside their rented home near Walt Disney World now claims it was his wife who drugged, stabbed, and suffocated their three children before taking her own life.
Anthony Todt, 44, is facing multiple counts of homicide in connection with the murder of his 42-year-old wife, Megan, and their three children in Celebration, Florida, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office said. Todt has also been charged with one count of animal cruelty for allegedly killing the family’s dog, Breezy. The sheriff’s office said in January that Todt confessed to the grisly slayings after his arrest.
But in a June 19 letter to his father from Osceola County Jail, Todt claims it was actually his wife who drugged their children with a tainted dessert before killing 13-year-old Alek, 11-year-old Tyler, and 4-year-old Zoey. Todt claims that after his wife confessed to killing their children, she drank a bottle of family-sized Benadryl and stabbed herself in the stomach.
“Long story short, she gave them the Benadryl/Tylenol PM pie, separated them, woke up at 11:30 [p.m.], stabbed and then suffocated each one,” Todt wrote in the 27-page letter first reported by the Orlando Sentinel. “At the news of this I ran to the bathroom and puked—I was weak.”
“I love my wife, still, very deeply, and it will be the hardest thing to sit there and tell everyone that it was her that did this when I was not home, and then she committed suicide in front of me,” he wrote. “I have forgiven her, as I know she was chronically sick.”
The father of three claimed his wife suffered from several illnesses, including depression. In the letter, Todt urges his father to keep his claims “in confidence.”
Todt, originally from Connecticut, was taken into custody on Jan. 15 while federal agents were serving him with an unrelated arrest warrant. When authorities asked Todt where his wife was, he allegedly stated they were upstairs sleeping. Upon searching the home, deputies found the bodies of Todt’s wife and three children in the upstairs master bedroom and later determined they were killed “sometime toward the end of December,” Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson said.
“Anthony could barely stand and appeared to be shaking,” officials wrote in an affidavit. Todt told police he had consumed Benadryl in an attempt to die by suicide.
The medical examiner later revealed that Todt’s wife and two of his children suffered stab wounds in the abdomen. The 4-year-old, according to the report, showed no signs of trauma. Prosecutors have previously said they intend to seek the death penalty against Todt.
In the letter obtained by The Daily Beast, Todt insisted he is “10000% INNOCENT of all these preposterous charges” and wants to “correct all inaccuracies” from “the creative writing machine”—an apparent reference to the media. He also claimed the sheriff’s office wanted “to score a big win” by arresting him.
“The media and sheriff’s department here are making me out to be the next ‘Butcher of Baghdad,’” he wrote.
“I would have called a press conference months ago, but I was told by my attorneys, who happen to be some of the best in the state, that that was not the appropriate way to handle the case,” Todt later added. “So I just sit in idle, making a list of lawsuits [for] when I get out.”
The case garnered national attention after relatives took to the internet to report the Todt family missing in January, creating a Facebook group that quickly swelled to nearly 2,500 members. According to authorities, no missing person reports were ever filed for the family.
Investigators said an out-of-state family member asked for a wellness check on the family on Dec. 29 after not hearing from them for two days.
At that time, deputies said they checked the home but left after being unable to communicate with anyone inside. Gibbon said the officers didn’t believe the situation rose “to a level of suspicion” that would justify entering or searching the home.
The family had recently moved from Colchester, Connecticut, to Celebration, Florida—a community on the outskirts of Disney World, designed and built by the Walt Disney Company.
While Megan and the three kids lived in Florida full-time, authorities said. Todt would work at his Connecticut physical therapy practice during the week and fly to meet his family on the weekends.
According to Todt, who portrayed himself as a worried husband, Megan Todt needed constant care for her many maladies. In the letter, Todt wrote that his wife’s illnesses prompted their move to Florida because he was “determined she was going to get better, and she was, though the good days were amazing the ‘bad days’ were even more depressing for her.”
On the day of the quadruple murder, Todt wrote in the letter that it was a “phenomenal day” because his wife woke up with no pain for the first time in months. After spending time together and eating dinner, the 44-year-old wrote he went to a nearby condo they owned to do “maintenance tasks.” He said he also went to get a Mickey Mouse necklace his daughter Zoe had been begging for.
In the letter, Todt wrote that he ended up going back to his home after realizing he didn’t have his tools. After returning home and playing basketball with his sons, he sent his kids back inside before it got too dark.
“They said mom was preparing dessert and was I going to join them,” he wrote in the letter. “I said ‘no’ as I was trying to lose some weight, etc.”
Todt said he went back to the condo but instead of going inside to do housework—he took “a small siesta” in his car’s driver seat and woke up in a panic the next morning. He rushed home “fearful of the scolding” for being late to a daily therapy session he had with his wife, he claimed.
When he went inside, Todt said he found remnants of the “Benadryl pudding pie,” which “looked very good, as all my wife’s desserts were, but smelled horrible.” Going upstairs, Todt said he found his wife at the top of the stairs—where she confessed to killing their three children.
Todt wrote he found his children dead in their beds with no apparent sign of struggle, and his wife calmly asked him if he was OK.
“No... you murdered our children,” he claimed he said. Soon after, Megan Todt stabbed herself in the stomach in their bedroom and drank the bottle of Benadryl, he alleged.
“I have to be with my babies,” she said, according to Todt, who alleged he couldn’t find a phone and that he “tried CPR until I physically couldn’t anymore.”
Todt said that after his wife died, he moved the bodies to a bedroom, laid them “in comfortable sleeping positions,” and covered them “for warmth and protection.” He wrote that he also placed rosaries in their hands.
The father of three said he attempted suicide at least eight times, but failed in “yet another thing I sucked at.” It wasn’t until three weeks later that authorities found Todt’s family.