Tony Todt: Could this murderous father actually get the death penalty?
The tragic story of the death of a family in a Disney property will send chills up your spine. Not only is it eerie to think such a thing could happen so close to “the happiest place on Earth”, but the deaths of two sons, a daughter, and a wife were allegedly the result of murder by the father of the family: Tony Todt.
Residents of the Celebration area in Kissimmee, FL know it as an affluent, quiet community. To think such a devastating atrocity could be committed therein is almost unthinkable.
What would lead a man to do that to his own family? Does he accept his indictments? Could he be receiving the death penalty? These are questions running through the head of most people who hear about the case. Here’s the gist of what’s gone on with Tony Todt so far.
A tragic discovery
Police had gone to do welfare checks on behalf of the Todt family twice before they actually discovered the bodies of Tony Todt’s family. The family of Megan Todt, Tony’s wife, had asked officers to do so after not hearing from them for days. It was four days after Christmas and they hadn’t heard a peep.
Officers responded by looking around the residence. They ended up reporting nothing suspicious and leaving the property. Again on January 9, 2020 officers were sent to the Todt home in Celebration but found nothing strange. They made no contact and left the scene.
On January 13th, 2020 police, at last, made contact and discovered the bodies. They were there with an arrest warrant for Tony Todt from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The condition of the Tony Family corpses was terrible. They were found with stab wounds in a putrefactive state of decomposition.
Some were wrapped in blankets and some were partially mummified. Even the family dog had been killed. It became clear the family had been killed sometime before Christmas, so advanced was their state of decomposition.
It was discovered that their bodies had actually been rotting so long that there wasn’t even any blood left to take samples of by the forensics team. Liver, brain, chest fluid, and hair samples had to be used for the toxicology report and it was discovered that all four family members had a toxic amount of Benadryl in their bodies. Not enough to kill them, only enough to have increased side effects.
What happened to Tony Todt’s family?
When Tony Todt was arrested he was found unsteadily descending the second floor of his home. He told the arresting officer that his wife Megan was sleeping upstairs. They of course discovered she was in fact dead, along with her children.
Megan had two stab wounds to the stomach, their oldest son Alek (13) had one abdominal stab wound, their 11-year-old son Tyler had one abdominal stab wound, and their 4-year-old daughter Zoe had no injuries or lethal amount of medicine in her system that they could find. She died of an unknown cause.
Todt later confessed to paramedics that he had tried to take enough Benadryl to kill himself. Todt denied any memory of having killed his family. Although Tony Todt initially confessed to the murder of his family he later claimed “1000%” innocence in a letter to his father and entered a plea of not guilty. Todt claims it was his wife who killed their children and then turned the knife on herself.
Todt said his sons told him their mother had made dessert that turned out to be laced with Benadryl. “They said mom was preparing dessert and was I going to join them,” wrote Todt. “I said ‘no’ as I was trying to lose some weight, etc.”
He then supposedly fell asleep in the car and didn’t discover the children dead until the following during which his wife allegedly confessed to killing them and stabbing herself. Todt claims he couldn’t find the phones to call for help and then his wife begged him to help her die.
Todt was saddled with over a hundred thousand dollars in debt with little money left. Some claim this as a motive for potentially attempting a family murder and suicide.
Will Todt get the death penalty?
Tony Todt was indicted with four counts of capital murder and one count of animal cruelty. At the time, State Attorney Aramis Ayala announced her intent to seek the death penalty despite personal reservations. She told reporters, “Despite my position on the death penalty, my death penalty review board, they move forward, they charge on, they have unanimously voted to seek death in this case.”
That was on February 25th, 2020. In January of 2021, Ayala filed an intent not to seek the death penalty after all. An explanation of the change of heart she said, “after consideration of the facts and law applicable to this case, including serious concerns regarding the mental health of the defendant, it is not in the best interest of the people of the state of Florida to pursue the death penalty as a potential sentence.”