Anthony Todt claims that his deceased wife tried to murder their three children multiple times. The "Disney Dad," who has been charged with murdering his entire family, told his sister that it was his wife, Megan, who killed the family and then herself all while he slept in the family's minivan.
The gruesome murders drew national attention after authorities discovered the decaying and mummified bodies of the victims at the family's vacation property, just steps away from Disney World. Todt denied having any role in those murders through prison phone calls to his sister earlier this year, while he sits behind bars on charges he drugged and then stabbed his wife and children.
“There were multiple attempts, just so you know, multiple attempts in the last ... over a time frame, there’s been attempts. Which is why this time I was stuck down here trying to handle things,” Todt told his sister, Chrissy Caplet, in March, according to a prison call transcript obtained by The Day. Todt, who was once a beloved physical therapist, would split his time between Connecticut and Florida but suggested that he had to be in Florida to make sure his wife did not kill their children. It is more likely he was avoiding Connecticut, where agents were looking to arrest him after discovering he had been running a massive insurance scam for years that had netted him hundreds-of-thousands of dollars.
This is not the first time Todt has tried to pin the murders on his wife. He made that exact same claim to his father as well, in a 27-page letter sent in June of this year. In that letter, Todt wrote that he fell asleep in the family minivan and came inside to find the children already dead. He wrote that Megan, 42, then informed him she had “released their souls” before taking her own life by stabbing herself in the stomach and drinking a large bottle of Benadryl.
As for how she killed the children, Todt wrote: “Long story short, she gave the kids the Benadryl/Tylenol PM pie, separated them, woke up at 11:30 (p.m), stabbed and then suffocated each one.” He then added: “At the news of this I ran to the bathroom and puked — I was weak.”
These claims are all at odds with the autopsy reports of each family member, particularly the allegation that Megan stabbed herself in the stomach. Officials believe that Todt drugged all four family members with Benadryl before stabbing them to death with the exception of Zoe. The youngest of his three children, who was just 3 at the time of her death, may have been suffocated given the absence of any cuts or markings on her body.
Todt claimed his wife was sleeping and his children were at a sleepover when authorities arrived at the family home and found their badly decomposed bodies. The corpses of wife Megan, sons Aleksander and Tyler and daughter Zoe were "black as leather" and so deformed from weeks of decay that they could not even make a guess as to the cause of death. Lawyers for Todt, 45, have not revealed how they plan to defend their client.
It will be a high-stakes trial, too, as Todt is facing the death penalty if found guilty of murdering his wife, sons and daughter. Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson said that Todt admitted to the murders soon after his arrest, but authorities have yet to release evidence of that confession. He then entered a plea of “not guilty” just a few days later when he was formally arraigned on four counts of murder and one count of animal cruelty for allegedly killing the family dog.
It was agents from the Department of Health and Human Services who brought Todt in for the murders while seeking to serve him in charges of insurance fraud. Those three officials detailed the horrific scene inside the family’s Florida home shortly after making that arrest in interviews with local police that have been obtained by OK!.
Lead agent Melissa O’Neal told law enforcement officers that her team had been tasked with surveilling Todt after a request was made by the bureau’s Boston office. “The plan was, we were going to do some surveillance, take our photos, and rally with the two guys who were coming down from Connecticut,” states agent O’Neal in her interview. The surveillance operation was to assist in the arrest of Todt, who the department planned to take into custody that same day on charges of health care fraud. There were concerns, however, because he and his family had not been seen for weeks.
It was just two hours into their stakeout when one of the agents, Jim Nguyen, saw Todt walk outside wearing shorts and a t-shirt. The men exchanged glances, and soon after Nguyen radioed the team and informed them that he had been spotted. That is when a third agent, Michael Phelps, moved in to get eyes on Todt.
“If he was on the front porch we were going to grab him,” explained Agent O’Neal. “I called back-up police units when he went back in the house. We wanted to get some marked units because we didn’t know if the kids would be alone and we would have a DCS problem.” When that option became unavailable to the agents, they made the decision to enter the home.
"We knocked and no one came to the door. Mike tried the door, the door was unlocked and Mike popped it open,” agent O'Neal recounted to police. “And we could hear mumbling from inside the house. It sounded like it was from the top of the stairs.” The agents soon located Todt, who was wearing just underwear and a shirt while convulsing and muttering to himself. “He was still mumbling and needing a lot of assistance to get down, but saying don’t touch him because he would fall,” O’Neal said of Todt. “It took him a long time to get down the stairs."
Once he was down, the agents asked where Megan and the children were, having seen no sign of them in the house. “He said Megan was upstairs sleeping and he also called for her like she was alive,” says O’Neal. "We asked where are the children, and he said: ‘I don’t know, I can’t remember if they went to a sleepover last night.'"
A deputy then accompanied O’Neal upstairs, where the two quickly discovered what had happened to the family. “We went upstairs to check for Megan and the children because we had called for her too and obviously there was no answer. The door of the master bedroom was open. I could see feet, and you could tell it was somebody who was deceased,” states O’Neal in her interview. “You could see the buttocks of another person.” Those were the two boys, and a deputy found Megan underneath the sheets moments later, but they could not find the youngest child, Zoe.
Agent O’Neal recalls racing back downstairs to ask Todt where she could find his daughter. He said that she was sleeping or in another room, but there was no sign of her anywhere in the home. She was discovered a short while later with the rest of the family. “We went back in the master bedroom, and she’s so little. She’s only like three or four,” says O’Neal. “There's another little blanket at the foot of the bed … Zoe’s there, at the foot of the bed, underneath blankets.”
Todt told authorities at that point that he had just attempted to take his own life by overdosing on Benadryl. As local authorities dealt with that, the agents took notice of the crime scene. “We saw a knife on the windowsill. One of your deputies said they saw vomit,” says agent O’Neal in her interview. She then starts to describe the victims.
"So, the bodies are black, like, as black as this points to leather,” explains agent O’Neal. “It looked like there was deformation but he didn’t know if it was overdose cause there was vomit or stabbing because the bodies are so far gone.” She comes back to this again later in her interview, saying: “The boys’ bodies are black as leather.”
And while she did not personally find the fifth victim, O'Neal did prepare officers by telling them: “There’s also a dog. So there may be another deceased.”