The father of Anthony “Tony” Todt, a man accused of killing his family, apparently hired a former student to kill his wife.
According to court documents, Tony Todt’s father, Robert Todt, was arrested in July 1980 and charged with attempted homicide, criminal conspiracy, and criminal solicitation.
Robert Todt, a former board-certified special education teacher at the Bensalem Township School District in Pennsylvania, paid a former learning disabled student $800 to kill his then-wife, Loretta.
She lost an eye, but Loretta survived the incident. Her two children were home at the time, including Tony Todt, 4 at the time. Shortly after the incident, Tony Todt told investigators he heard his mother screaming before a man with a “T” across his forehead picked him up and took him back to bed, according to a September 1981 report by the Philadelphia Enquirer.
“[He was] wrestling with my mommy on her bed,” Tony Todt said at the time.
The hitman was identified as John Chairmonte, who once attended Bensalem High School. Chairmonte later testified against Robert Todt. The gunman served a few years in a state mental hospital for his role in the shooting.
According to Chairmonte, Robert Todt paid him to kill a “babysitter,” which turned out to be Robert Todt’s wife. Chairmonte said he walked into the Todt’s Levittown residence through the garage, shot the victim several times, then rifled through some drawers to make it appear to be a robbery.
Robert Todt was apparently engaged to another woman when the shooting took place. The woman, identified as Colleen Fecho, testified that they had made “substantial plans” toward marriage.
Although Robert Todt eventually admitted to having an affair, he denied planning his wife’s shooting. He said he did speak to Chairmonte, but only to help him with job applications. Witnesses for the defense said that Robert Todt was known to help out former students.
According to a May 1984 report by the Philadelphia Day News, Loretta initially defended her former husband and believed him. After Robert went to prison, however, Loretta changed her mind once she had time away from him to reflect on what happened.
Almost 40 years later, Tony Todt, now 44, is behind bars. He’s accused of killing his wife, Megan, and his three children, Alek, Tyler, and Zoe. He’s also accused of killing the family dog, Breezy.
According to Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson, the victims’ deaths occurred toward the end of December. Authorities arrested Todt inside a rented Celebration, Florida, home on January 9. Inside the home, investigators found his family and pet dog deceased.
Neighbors didn’t any unusual smells coming from the home or anything that stood out to them. Some neighbors hadn’t seen the family since mid-December, while others said they hadn’t seen them since November. They didn’t think it was unusual since the family traveled frequently, according to Gibson.
Gibson said authorities started investigating after a relative in Connecticut informed them that they hadn’t heard from the family in a while. The relative told police that the family may have “had the flu,” according to Gibson.
Officers first went to the home on December 29. Authorities didn’t note anything suspicious at the time.
Florida officers returned to the home on Monday with federal agents. They served an arrest warrant from the Department of Health and Human Services.
The sheriff added Tony Todt is cooperating with the investigation.
The cause of the victims’ death is still pending. The coroner is currently making the final determination, Gibson said.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department arrived at a home in Celebration, Florida, at 202 Reserve Place, on Monday morning. Shortly after their arrival, authorities announced they were “conducting a death investigation in the North Village area at Celebration.”
“Osceola County Sheriff’s Office responded to 202 Reserve Pl. in Celebration for a death investigation,” Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson, said. “This is an isolated incident and all parties involved with this death investigation are accounted for.”
Police cordoned a good portion of the street for hours. On Monday night, a coroner’s van arrived and brought several stretchers into the home.
Court records indicate that the home had been occupied by the Todt couple, who moved from Connecticut to Florida with their three children and dog.
Osceola County’s online court records also indicated that the couple was facing eviction from the home.
Tony Todt was detained at the home on Monday afternoon. Neighbors reported seeing police ordering him out of the home at gunpoint.
Numerous family members previously posted on Facebook that the Todt family was missing. According to the Facebook group, “Looking for the Todt Family,” Tony Todt was last heard from on January 6 via text.
Tony Todt reportedly commuted back and forth from Florida to Connecticut. He owns Family Physical Therapy in Colchester, Connecticut, but his license expired in September 2019. A sign on the front of his business indicated that they would return after January 1, but apparently the business has not reopened.
Dr. Priya Tandon, who has a medical practice in the same building as Family Physical Therapy, told CTPost that Todt’s employees revealed that they had not been paid. Further, FBI agents arrived at the Family Physical Therapy in December. The landlord of the building reportedly said that the agents were “investigating.”
— Jeff Allen (@News13JeffAllen) January 15, 2020
“The Office of the Attorney General can confirm we have an open False Claims Act investigation into Anthony Todt. Beyond that, we are unable to comment or provide further details,” Elizabeth Benton, Director of Communications at the Connecticut Office of Attorney General said.
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong stated that a “False Claims Act” investigation is open against Tony Todt.
Neighbor Connie McGarian told FOX 35 that a couple and three children lived in the Reserve Place home. She said the children were polite and the family seemed “perfect.”
The story is developing. Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Todt Family/Facebook]