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Florida medical examiner releases full autopsy reports for Todt family

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The full autopsy reports for Megan, Alek, Tyler and Zoe Todt were released Tuesday by the Office of the Medical Examiner District Nine in Osceola County, Fla., finding that each had traces of diphenhydramine, likely Benadryl, in their system, and the mother and boys had been stabbed.

The reports also revealed that two knives, one covered in blood, were brought to the medical examiner's office by a detective.

The results show that the Todts, who were found dead in their home in Celebration, Fla., on Jan. 13, died from "homicidal violence of unspecified means in association with diphenhydramine toxicity."

Megan and her three children were found to have varying amounts of diphenhydramine in their systems. According to the United States Library of Medicine, the drug normally is used to treat allergy symptoms, but also can be used for insomnia or motion sickness. It is found in over-the-counter medications including Advil PM, Excedrin PM, Sudafed Severe Cold, and Tylenol Severe Allergy, according to Medline Plus.

The Medical Examiner's office noted in its reports that diphenhydramine has a sedating effect, especially in young children.

Stab wounds were listed as the number one finding in the autopsies of Megan, Alek and Tyler. Alek had an injury to one of his ribs, near where he was stabbed.

The cause of death for all four had been ruled a homicide. All of the children were otherwise healthy and well-nourished, the reports said.

Anthony Todt, who goes by Tony and owns two physical therapy practices in Colchester, confessed to the killing of his wife, children and family dog after being found inside the home with their bodies in January, according to the Osceola County Sheriff's Department.

The autopsy reports did not rule on a date of death, which has remained unknown over the course of the investigation. The bodies were discovered in the early stages of decomposition. Chief Medical Examiner Joshua Stephany of the medical examiner's Office, which serves Orange and Osceola counties in Florida, said in January that the family had likely been dead for weeks when they were found.

The family's dog, Breezy, also had been stabbed, according to Stephany.

The autopsies were performed on Jan. 14, one day after the bodies were found wrapped in blankets in a second-floor bedroom in the home the family rented at 202 Reserve Place in Celebration, Fla. There was no evidence of injury or trauma to any of their skulls, scalps or necks.

The autopsy found that Megan, 42, had two stab wounds to her abdomen and diphenhydramine toxicity. She was likely stabbed once while she was still alive and a second time as she was dying or right before she died, the autopsy revealed.

Megan Todt was identified by dental records from Colchester Dental Group and her medical records showed a history of Lyme disease. Multiple family friends said Megan and the children moved to Florida from Colchester because the warm weather made her Lyme disease more manageable.

The eldest child, 13-year-old Alek Todt, was found to have a stab wound to the abdomen near his eighth rib on the left side. Tyler Todt, 11, was found to have a stab wound to the abdomen with injury to his large intestine, and diphenhydramine toxicity.

Alek and Tyler were identified by dental records.

Zoe Todt, 4, had no trauma to her body. She was identified by "circumstantial evidence" and the identification was signed by her grandmother, Uncasville resident Loretta Schmidt, on Jan. 25. She was missing a front tooth.

When investigators went to the house, Tony Todt told them he had ingested a large amount of Benadryl in an attempt to commit suicide. He was taken to a hospital for an evaluation and was held there after making threats, the affidavit said.

He is being held in the Osceola County jail on suicide watch. He entered a plea of not guilty in January, court records show.

The autopsy reports revealed that Detective Cole Miller of the Osceola County Sheriff's Department brought the two knives to the medical examiner's office. Both were labeled "BUCK USA" and had tips with double-edged blades. One knife had a green and black handle, the other had a black and gray handle and had dried blood on it, the reports said.

The 9th Judicial District State's Attorney Aramis Ayala announced in February that Todt was charged with four counts of capital murder and one count of animal cruelty. The state of Florida will seek the death penalty against him.

t.hartz@theday.com

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