4 Deaths Rock Florida's Disney-Developed Community

Bodies found in Celebration home; officials say deaths are 'suspicious'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2020 2:20 PM CST
4 Bodies Found in Town 'Where Dreams Come True'
This photo taken Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010, shows a different crime scene at a condominium in Celebration, Fla.   (AP Photo/John Raoux)

"We live in Celebration. It's where dreams come true basically, right? And this has happened." Those were the words of a resident of Celebration, Florida, the Disney-developed community in Walt Disney World's backyard, after four bodies were found in a home there Monday. Says another resident to WFTV, "Celebration is a very quiet neighborhood; we rarely have anything like this happen. ... It's totally unexpected." What we know so far:

  • "Suspicious" deaths: Deputies were called to the Osceola County home around 9am, and though not many details have been released including the victims' identities, authorities say one person is in custody and the deaths are "suspicious." News outlets have images of a man being taken out of the home in handcuffs.

  • But there is no continuing danger: "This is an isolated incident, and all parties involved with this death investigation are accounted for," Osceola County Sheriff Russell Gibson said Monday afternoon. Neighbors reportedly called police after having not seen the children and dog that lived in the house in several days, and some neighbors say the father who was renting the home with his family is the person taken into custody. WESH-TV found a court document showing a couple living at the home was being evicted for not paying rent; that lawsuit was filed just before Christmas.
  • Who are the victims? According to the CT Post, the victims may be connected to a missing Connecticut family. "The news reports out of Celebration, Florida regarding a Colchester family are shocking and heartbreaking," says a Colchester official. That missing family is Anthony Todt, 44, his wife Megan, 42, and their children Alex, Tyler, and Zoe, and family dog Breezy.
  • How did they end up in Florida? Much is not yet clear, but the Todts are listed as owners of a physical therapy business in Colchester, Connecticut; however, a sign at one location says the office will be closed until after the first of the year and an office manager tells WFSB she hasn't seen Anthony Todt in weeks. His physical therapy license was out of Celebration, and Megan Todt's was out of nearby Kissimmee, Florida. Anthony's had expired in September, and Megan's is set to expire Jan. 30. Relatives say the family traveled from Colchester to Celebration last month (some reports say they had moved to Celebration), and according to a Facebook group tracking their disappearance, they were last heard from Jan. 6.
  • More on Celebration: As ClickOrlando explains, Celebration was "an experiment in community planning called 'New Urbanism.' It was often called 'Disney’s Town of Celebration' in its early days but it's not actually a town and it's no longer owned by the Walt Disney Company."
(Behind Celebration's first-ever murder, a dark past.)

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