US man confesses to killing family and pet dog in Disney-built community
A man has confessed to killing his wife, three children and the family dog in a community built by Disney World and close to the corporation's famous Florida theme parks, police said Thursday.
Anthony Todt, a 44-year-old physiotherapist, confessed to killing his wife Megan, 42, and his children Alex, Tyler and Zoe, aged 13, 11 and four.
"I cannot understand what would cause a person to commit such evil and horrendous acts," said Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson.
Todt, who is cooperating with the police investigation, is facing four charges of first- degree homicide and one of animal cruelty for also having killed the family's pet dog Breezy.
Handcuffed and dressed in a white jumpsuit, Todt was led past a scrum of journalists to a bus that would take him to the Osceola county jail. The motive for the killings remains unknown.
According to public records published in the Orlando Sentinel, Todt was in serious financial difficulties in three states and was under federal investigation for fraud.
Police found the bodies in the family home on Monday but were unable to definitively identify them until Wednesday.
The family had not been seen since January 6 and friends and family had started a Facebook group to look for them and share information. That prompted police to begin investigating their disappearance.
Celebration, to the south of Orlando and the Disney theme parks, was developed in the 1990s by Disney World, which no longer owns the properties. The community has long been the subject of urban myths, such as the apocryphal tale that people were hired to walk dogs in the early days to make it look more homey, or that the almost 8,000 residents get free annual passes to the Disney parks.