Fla. Dad Accused of Killing Family in Upscale Celebration Home Now Claims He 'Wasn’t There'
After allegedly confessing to killing his family in their Celebration Fla., home, Anthony Todt told his sister from jail he wasn't home when the killings took place
When authorities found the dead bodies of three children, their mother and the family dog inside their storybook home in Celebration, Florida, the children's father Anthony Todt was arrested in connection with the killings.
Authorities later alleged Todt confessed to the murders. But now, the 45-year-old physical therapist has allegedly said he wasn’t even home when his wife, Megan, 42, their three children, Alek, 13, Tyler, 11, and Zoe, 4, and their dog, Breezy, were massacred.
"I couldn’t stop this because I wasn’t there,” Todt allegedly told his sister, Chrissy Caplet, in March in a taped jailhouse recording of one of two phone calls obtained by The Day of New London, Connecticut.
Todt was arrested on Jan. 13, the day authorities found the badly decomposing bodies inside the home in the planned, pristine community in the shadow of the Walt Disney World Resort.
He was indicted on four counts of first-degree murder. He pleaded not guilty and remains held at the Osceola County Jail. His public defender has not responded to PEOPLE's request for comment.
Authorities have said they believe Todt stayed inside the home with his dead family members for up to three weeks after he allegedly gave them Benadryl and stabbed them.
According to the Orange-Osceola County Medical Examiners Office, the official cause of death for the victims was “homicidal violence of unspecified means,” along with “diphenhydramine toxicity.” Diphenhydramine is the drug more commonly known as Benadryl. The victims also had multiple stab wounds, according to the autopsy report.
Authorities believe the family was killed toward the end of December.
Authorities arrested Todt on Jan. 13 at his home on a warrant for federal health care fraud charges stemming from his physical therapy business. It wasn't immediately clear if he has entered a plea or retained an attorney in connection with the fraud charges.
The Osceola County Sheriff’s office alleges that Todt confessed to killing his wife.
Now Todt is allegedly telling a different story. During the course of the two phone calls in March and April that were obtained by The Day, Todt allegedly implied to his sister that his wife had killed the children before killing herself.
“There were multiple attempts, just so you know, multiple attempts in the last ... over a time frame, there’s been attempts,” Todt said, The Day reports. “Which is why this time I was stuck down here trying to handle things.”
Todt allegedly shared similar sentiments in a June 19 letter to his father, obtained by the Orlando Sentinel. In the letter, he allegedly claimed his wife had drugged the children before stabbing and suffocating them, the Sentinel reported.
He then allegedly said his wife downed a bottle of Benadryl before stabbing herself in the stomach.
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In recent years, Todt and his family had moved to Celebration from Colchester, Connecticut, though it’s unclear how long they’d lived in the Disney-developed dream town, which Disney no longer owns. He traveled between the two states while he tried to salvage his beleaguered practice in Connecticut.
Todt was a longtime physical therapist and owner of Family Physical Therapy in Colchester. But court records show that Todt was deep in debt. Over the years, liens had been placed on a condo the family owned in Celebration, just blocks from their rental home at 202 Reserve Place. The estimated value of the condo, according to Zillow, is $209,000.
On Dec. 22, the landlord of the family’s condo at Reserve Place filed an eviction notice, serving the family on Dec. 26.