Remembering the CT mom and children slain in Florida

Funeral services are set for Megan Todt, 42, and her children, of Celebration, Fla., formerly of Colchester. The bodies of Megan Todt and her children Aleksander, 13; Tyler, 11; Zoe, 4 and their family dog, Breezy, were found in the family’s Flordia home on Jan. 13, 2020. Anthony Todt, the husband of Megan Todt and father of the children, has been charged. From left, are Aleksander, Megan Todt, and Tyler. Zoe Todt is in the bottom center of the photo.

By all accounts, Megan Todt was a devoted, loving mother; her sons, Alek and Tyler, were bookworms and outstanding pianists.

Alek was the quieter one, but if you got him talking, he had plenty to say. Tyler was a great actor; Zoe, Megan Todt’s 4-year-old daughter, was energetic—and really, really cute.

Yet, their lives were ended and police in Florida charged Anthony “Tony” Todt with four counts of premeditated murder on Jan 15. Authorities allege he confessed to killing Megan Todt, their three children, Alek, 13, Tyler, 11 and Zoe, 4, and the family dog, Breezy.

Now, their family is to receive friends from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30, at St. John the Evangelist Church, 22 Maple Ave., Montville. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 31, at St. John the Evangelist Church with a reception to follow in the church community center after the Mass, according to the death notice for the family.

A private burial ceremony will take place at a later date.

But despite the horror, those who knew the Todts have good memories to share of the family that wholly belie what authorities found Jan. 12 in a home where four people are believed to have been slain in December.

Photos on Anthony and Megan Todt’s Facebook profiles show what look like a loving husband and wife who adore their children.

On the comments section of a photo of Megan and the kids posted in 2016, Anthony Todt wrote of his family, “I am truly just blessed beyond words.”

Gina, who asked that only her first name be used, said she attended Sacred Heart University with Tony and Megan Todt, who she recalled were high-school sweethearts.

“Megan was so kindhearted, she never had anything bad to say about anyone, always always smiling and encouraging, wise beyond her years. I remember looking over at a smiling Megan one day in a class we both were taking, I think it was psychology, and thinking to myself, ‘that girl has the world at her fingertips,’” Gina said in an email.

“She [Megan] was the type of person who had it all, yet was humble. Tony was a residential advisor for the townhouses I lived in, and he was always there to offer help or advice to all the residents with roommate conflicts, what have you, he was just an all around people person.

“They adored each other and were high school sweethearts,” she said.

Before people learned that Todt had allegedly confessed to the murders, Colchester First Selectman Mary Bylone said she received correspondence from a number of people who were angry at the suggestion that he could have committed the crime.

“Now that Tony has admitted to the crime, this community is shifting over to remembering Megan and their three children and praying for their families,” said Bylone. “People are worried that they’re being forgotten.”

“As a community, we’re standing by each other,” she said.

The family had purchased the house in Colchester in 2006, records show, and Anthony Todt built a busy physical therapy practice there, was a well-liked soccer coach and active in the community, and Meghan Todt was a stay-at-home homeschooling mom.

Although the family had been living in Florida for about two years, Anthony Todt kept the practice here and traveled back and forth, authorities have said.

It is not yet clear when the change in his business occurred, but court records in three states show he faced growing financial pressure, and is also the subject of both state and federal fraud investigations. The Todts also were in a significant amount of debt, records show.

An eviction suit was filed with the Osceola County clerk’s office in December, over alleged non-payment for the family’s home at 202 Reserve Place, in Celebration, Fla., near Orlando, where they had lived since May.

The federal arrest warrant for Todt was issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General for charges of health care fraud, an agency spokeswoman has said.

Anthony Todt had been licensed to practice physical therapy in Connecticut since 1999, but his license had expired due to non-renewal at the end of September, according to Connecticut records.

The bodies were not discovered until Jan. 12 when Florida deputies went to the home with federal agents to serve an arrest warrant for Anthony Todt.

“Anthony has cooperated with the investigation and he has confessed to killing his wife Megan Todt ... and their three children,” said Russ Gibson, the sheriff in Osceola County Florida. . “Anthony also killed their family dog, Breezy.”

Bobbie Sedwick, who said she had been the Todt’s piano teacher since September 2018, first taught them at their condo, then at the rental house the family moved to. She said Megan Todt homeschooled the boys and was part of local co-op of homeschooling parents.

“They had it together,” Sedwick said of the couple.

“Zoe was a quiet but curious 4-year-old. Alek, very smart and determined. Tyler looked to ask loads if questions, he’d really dig into a conversation,” Sedwick said. “Megan almost always cooked from scratch. My son had a few surgeries and she was sure to send home meals with me to take some stress off of us. Tony was a comedian, he loved to keep the room laughing. I never caught whiff of any financial, home or work problems.”

Sedwick said Tony Todt was not always home.

“In the beginning very rarely was he home. Last year after they moved to the rental home he was almost always home when I visited,” she said.

“It’s very confusing,” Sedwick said of the slaying. “I’m disturbed by what the children and mommy went through. I’m disturbed to think that if Tony did this, what drove him to it. What did I miss. If there were problems, why didn’t Megan talk to me about it when we talked about everything else. It doesn’t make sense.”

In Colchester, community members’ positive memories of Todts have, perhaps, deepened the shock around town about the deaths and how the killings allegedly took place.

“When they hear accusations, people are stunned,” Bylone said this month, after news hit that the bodies had been discovered but authorities had not yet confirmed Anthony Todt was in custody.

“There is a general sense of sadness and shock,” Superintendent of Schools Jeffrey Burt said the same day. “People have been affected by this.”

A close family friend, who is from Colchester but moved out of state in 2015, shared positive memories of her time with the Todts.

“We loved every one of them,” said the woman, who spoke on condition of not being named. “We loved them all. We trusted them all…we are grateful for the time we had them in our lives.”

The friend met Megan and Tony Todt during a tour of Middlesex Hospital in Connecticut, she said. She and Megan were pregnant at the time.

The babies — the woman’s daughter and Megan Todt’s middle child, Tyler—were born a week apart, and as they grew, they developed “the cutest bond,” the woman said. She said that when she told her daughter she was thinking of talking to a reporter about the Todts, her daughter said, “You need to tell her that Tyler was a great actor, piano player, and a really really good friend.”

As she spoke over the phone, the woman said she was looking at photos of her daughter and Tyler at a birthday party. “When my daughter and Tyler were in the same frame, cuteness just happened.”

The kids weren’t the only ones with a meaningful friendship.

“We were very, very caring with one another,” the friend said when describing her relationship with Megan Todt.

The woman vividly recalls the first time she went to the Todts’ house, because it was also the first time her daughter, then about five months old, had a breath-holding spell, a condition where infants temporarily stop breathing and pass out, she said.

“That could have been one of our first bonding moments because I was terrified and she [Megan] was there,” the woman said.

In the years after, the women’s families celebrated birthdays together and ate dinners together. The friend said everything Megan Todt cooked was not only delicious, but also used healthful ingredients; the pair’s focus on health was one thing they bonded over.

The families saw each other at soccer practices and games: Tony Todt and the woman coached their sons’ team together, she said.

Even the family dogs played together, she said.

But in 2015, it came time for the woman and her family to move out of Connecticut.

“They [the Todts] were there the day we left,” the woman said, remembering that Zoe was just four or five months old at the time.

After the move, Megan Todt and her friend didn’t talk every week—they were busy moms. But “the connection was never not there,” the woman said, adding that they shared a lot with each other.

They frequently updated each other about their kids, the friend said. “I loved that even though we didn’t get to be together, we were still getting to watch each other’s kids grow up.”

The woman last saw the Todts in March, when her family took a trip to Disney world. A bird-lover, the woman recalled pointing one out to Tyler, who immediately identified it as a snakebird—the local name for an anhinga.

“I loved that he knew that,” she said.

Zoe bonded with the woman’s husband and kids at the condo they rented, where the toddler played by the hot tub, diving her Minnie Mouse doll in and out of the water and telling the woman’s daughter when to turn the bubbles on and off. The woman said she has a video of the scene, which she described as “so sweet.”

More memories

Other of the Todt’s friends described sweet kids and two people they saw as a loving couple.

One young woman from Connecticut said she knew the family from a young age and babysat Alek, Tyler and Zoe.

“I babysat them quite a few times and they were the most respectful, kind-hearted, sweet kids I have ever met,” she said. “They were always well-mannered and would help whoever, whenever they could.”

Nobody who spoke for this story had anything negative to say about Tony Todt, whom many described as an active member of the community.

A 2015 Facebook post on Todt’s page, for example, indicates his business collected donations for a pregnant woman who had been assaulted. “Thank you Tony Todt for your continuous generosity to our Colchester community,” one person commented.

Todt was also involved in the Colchester Business Association and the Colchester Soccer Club, and he treated a lot of student athletes as a physical therapist, according to a man who knew him through coaching.

“Obviously, it’s horrible what he did, but we do know him from over the years and it’s such a shock,” the man said. “We knew him as a good person who would do anything for anyone … that’s how we know him … as far as processing this, it’s very difficult.”

Even the man’s daughter, who played soccer, knew Todt as a good person, he said.

He never imagined having to talk about something like this with her.

Connecticut Media Group