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    Sunday, June 23, 2024

    Police: 4 found dead in home rented by Colchester business owner

    The Todt family is pictured in this undated photo. Police in Celebration, Fla., are investigating four deaths at the home of a couple, Anthony and Megan Todt, who own a Colchester physical therapy practice. ("Looking For The Todt Family" Facebook page)
    Updated 7:22 p.m.

    Police are investigating four deaths at the Florida home of a couple who also own a Colchester physical therapy practice.

    Florida public records indicate Anthony and Megan Todt had received a summons, filed Dec. 22, for eviction from the home they rented at 202 Reserve Place in Celebration, Fla., where the investigation is being conducted by the Osceola County Sheriff's Office. The couple have three children.

    On Tuesday, Osceola County Sheriff's Office Major Jacob Ruiz confirmed that four people had been found dead inside the home. He said a man has been taken into custody, but police are not releasing any information about him until he is officially charged.

    "We are awaiting the autopsy report for positive ID on the bodies and method, the way they died, whether it was a homicide, or whatever the case may be," Ruiz said Tuesday. "We anticipate that happening sometime today, don't know when exactly, then after we get positive ID, we would notify next of kin and then we can make the notifications to the public." Results from the Florida medical examiner were not available Tuesday night.

    Related story: Colchester reeling after 4 people found dead in Florida home of local business owner

    According to the Ontario, N.Y., County Clerk's Office, Anthony Todt and his two companies, Performance Edge Sports LLC and Family Physical Therapy, owe almost $100,000 to two creditors for unpaid loans. Business Merchant Funding filed a civil suit seeking $28,481 on March 1, 2019. Interest and attorney fees brought that to $36,279. Green Capital Funding LLC sought $50,218 on Jan. 24, 2019, which now stands at $63,525.82 due to interest and attorney fees.

    In 2019, he satisfied a $455,502 debt to AKF Inc. with an approximately $265,000 payment.

    On LinkedIn, Anthony Todt lists himself as the owner of Family Physical Therapy, which has locations at 7 Park Ave., Suite 4, and 744 Middletown Road in Colchester. Megan Todt was listed as a physical therapist on the business's Facebook page.

    Connecticut state records show that Anthony Todt, who is listed as living in Celebration, did not renew his physical therapy license, which expired Sept. 30, 2019. Megan Todt, whose address is listed as Kissimmee, Fla., holds a valid physical therapy license in Connecticut.

    Christopher Stan, a Connecticut Department of Public Health spokesperson, said the DPH does not have any pending investigations into Anthony Todt's physical therapy license.

    However, the state Office of the Attorney General has opened a False Claims Act investigation into Anthony Todt. "Beyond that, we are unable to comment or provide further details," Elizabeth Benton, communications director at Connecticut Office of the Attorney General, said Tuesday night by email.

    Ruiz said the sheriff's office was contacted by a family member of the Todts for a well-being check prior to Monday. Police didn't notice anything out of the ordinary, and they hadn't yet initiated a missing persons report. The death investigation was not triggered by the well-being check, Ruiz said. He declined to offer further details.

    Colchester police said Tuesday morning that they hadn't seen a missing persons report filed for the Todts.

    A spokesperson for Connecticut State Police said the investigation was being handled by the Osceola County Sheriff's Department. Connecticut Trooper Christine Jeltema said that while it is common for agencies to assist one another in such investigations, her agency had not yet received any requests from Florida to do so.

    "The news reports out of Celebration, Florida are heartbreaking and as an agency we want to express our deepest condolences to the families of the victims," Jeltema said in a statement.

    A Facebook group, called "Looking for the Todt Family," was created this month to seek details on where the Todts may be but was closed down Monday night after news of the investigation broke. "We are looking for the last time anyone has heard from Tony, Megan and the kids," the group description originally read. "Please let us know if you have."

    'This can happen anywhere'

    Celebration, a community of 7,500 near Disney World, was developed by Disney in the mid-1990s as a community meant to hark back to small-town America of the mid-20th century.

    Bobbie Sedwick, a private music teacher in Celebration, said she had taught private lessons twice a week to the older two Todt children since September 2018 and said the family “had it together.”

    Megan Todt, Sedwick said, was a stay-at-home mom who homeschooled her children and cooked every meal from scratch. The two “immediately bonded” over their homeschooling methods, she said. The two women often talked about recipes, meals Megan made for her family and places they had visited. When Sedwick's son had surgery, Megan brought homemade meals to the family, she said.

    “She was a dear friend,” Sedwick said. “She was a mom who took care of her family and others in all ways she knew how.”

    The teacher said she last saw the Todts on Dec. 14, when the entire family attended the holiday concert at Windsor at Celebration senior living facility in Kissimmee, where she said the boys “performed incredible, nearly flawless pieces.” The teacher said “all seemed normal” when she spoke with the family.

    Sedwick noted the father's striking sense of humor: “Tony was a comedian, he loved to keep the room laughing.”

    Sedwick said she first started giving lessons at the Todts' condo but the family moved into the home they were renting on May 6, 2019, and she’d been teaching lessons there ever since. Their last lesson before the holiday season was on Dec. 12, and the family gave Sedwick a Christmas gift.

    “I thanked them for participating and told them how much being a part of their lives and the boys’ journey meant to me,” Sedwick said.

    The Todts' former Colchester home at 222 Waterhole Road is a large, gray and blue house with a red door, a long winding driveway and a playscape in the backyard. In 2017, the Todts sold the home for $348,000.

    Teresa and Dave Pineau, who live two houses over from the home, said Tuesday they were shocked to hear the news. The Pineaus can see the Todts' old backyard from their deck and said they often saw the children outside playing and running around.

    But other than that, they didn't know their neighbors well. "We didn't even know they moved," Teresa Pineau said.

    Dave Pineau said they never saw a "for sale" sign on the home and still heard kids playing in the yard, so figured the Todts still lived there.

    Teresa Pineau first heard that the family was missing on Saturday, when a friend texted her "Have you seen Tony?" Later, she was sitting in her car in a Middletown shopping plaza when she got an alert on her phone from a Florida news station about the family.

    As the story unfolded Tuesday morning, the Pineaus said they were trying to piece together what had happened to their former neighbors.

    "This is when you realize this can happen anywhere," Teresa Pineau said.

    "You never know what's happening behind closed doors," her husband said.

    Day Staff Writer Karen Florin contributed to this report.



    Neighbor Teresa Pineau monitors the "Looking for the Todt family" page Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, on Facebook. (Taylor Hartz/The Day)
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    The Todt family home at 222 Waterhole Road in Colchester on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. (Taylor Hartz/The Day)
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    Sign in the window Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, at Family Physical Therapy in Colchester. (Taylor Hartz/The Day)
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