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Man Reportedly Confesses to Killing His Family, Pet Dog in Celebration, Florida Home

4 minute read

A man is in custody while Florida authorities continue their investigation after finding four bodies inside a Celebration, Fla. home on Jan. 13.

During a Wednesday press conference, Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson said deputies with his office, along with federal agents from the Department of Health and Human Services, were on Monday serving an arrest warrant for Anthony Todt, 44, who lived at the home with his wife and three children.

When authorities went to the home to arrest him, they found his wife Megan Todt, 42, his sons Alek, 13, and Tyler, 11, and daughter Zoe, 4 all deceased. The family’s dog was also dead. Medical examiners later determined that the cause of death as homicide; Gibson said that Anthony Todt also confessed to the killings, and is cooperating with investigators.

Sheriff Gibson says the deaths likely occurred sometime towards the end of December.

“It brings me great sadness to report such a tragedy and we grieve along with the victims’ family and friends,” Sheriff Gibson said at the press conference. “I cannot understand what would cause a person to commit such evil and horrendous acts.”

On December 29th, the sheriff’s office received a request to check the on the family’s wellbeing from a relative, who told police that she had been told that they all had the flu, but hadn’t heard from them in a couple of days. When deputies checked the property on this date, they were unable to get in contact with anyone, but reported that did not see anything suspicious.

Sheriff Gibson says that because nothing suspicious was noted, deputies did not enter the home.

Then, on January 9th, federal agents contacted the sheriff’s office and said that they were investigating Anthony; it is unclear what the focus of this investigation is. Deputies again tried to get in contact with Anthony at the home, but again they received no response and did not go inside.

It wasn’t until federal agents asked the sheriff’s office to serve an arrest warrant on Jan. 13 that deputies were able to go in the house, where they found Anthony Todt along with the bodies of his family. The specifics of the warrant deputies planned to serve on Anthony Todt have not been revealed.

Sheriff Gibson said that Anthony Todt was brought to the hospital after being arrested because he had taken “some dosage of Benadryl” and made comments about harming himself. He was released from the hospital on Wednesday.

Anthony had a physical therapy practice in Connecticut that he worked at during the week; according to some reports, Megan Todt had also worked at the practice prior to her move to Florida. Anthony Todt traveled to Celebration on the weekends to be with his family, sheriff Gibson said.

Celebration, which is just a few miles away from Disney World, has a population of just 7,427. The community was originally designed by the Walt Disney Company, but is no longer owned by the corporation.

Connie McGarian, who has lived in the neighborhood since 2008, told ABC affiliate WFTV that violent crimes are uncommon. “Celebration is a very quiet neighborhood,” McGarian told WFTV. “I’m very saddened. It’s totally unexpected… I never would have expected something like this.”

Marcelo Rodrigues, a neighbor who lives down the street from the house where the incident happened, told WFTV that his wife saw deputies go to the house and knock on the door early in the morning on Jan. 13.

“When police came, she was walking the dog, and we saw police with guns in hand. So she started to run, because we didn’t know what was happening,” Rodrigues told WFTV.

Sheriff Gibson didn’t share how Megan Todt or her children died, saying that he will wait until the coroner releases their results.

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Write to Josiah Bates at josiah.bates@time.com