Florida man drugged family with Benadryl and killed them while they were still conscious but unable to move
CELEBRATION, FLORIDA: Court documents have revealed how horror dad Anthony Todt drugged his family members with non-fatal but debilitating doses of Benadryl before killing them.
According to toxicology reports released by the Orange County Medical Examiner and obtained by The Sun, Todt stabbed his wife and two sons even before their bodies could process the medication — meaning they were alive and fully alert when he brutally ended their lives.
Police cited the reports to explain how the three oldest family members did not have time to process diphenhydramine — the antihistamine found in Benadryl — before they were stabbed to death.
It also emerged that during a welfare check in mid-January, Todt had tried to take a lethal dose of Benadryl himself as police entered the family residence.
Toxicology experts found that 13-year-old Aleksander, the older of Todt's two sons, had almost 8 mg of diphenhydramine in his system at the time of his death — which is the equivalent of consuming 13 capsules of Benadryl.
That said, it is one of the easiest drugs to be absorbed by the body and its effects usually peak within an hour.
But the dosage consumed by Alek was not fatal, just like the other members of his family, doctors said.
The 13-year-old was given 320mg of the over-the-counter medication, while a fatal dosage for a boy his age and weight is around 500mg.
Meanwhile, the autopsy — conducted weeks after the deaths — found that Anthony's wife Megan Todt had close to 5mg of diphenhydramine in her body, all of which was in her brain. The capsule equivalent of the same considering her weight is approximately 235 mg.
Tyler, the younger of the two boys, was found to have close to 12 mg of diphenhydramine — a capsule equivalent of 460mg considering his weight, which is a near-fatal dose.
However, authorities are yet to determine how little Zoe lost her life. The autopsy found she was given a capsule dosage of 37mg, which is not enough to kill the young girl.
Also, it is yet to be established how Todt managed to get the Benadryl into their system and the exact cause of the death, considering the Medical Examiner has released only part of the toxicology report.
Last month, a grand jury indicted Todt on four counts of first-degree murder. It is possible that he's sentenced to death, especially after the State's Attorney elected to bring back the death penalty for this case.
Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayayla announced her decision to reinstate the death penalty while speaking to reporters outside the courthouse — three years after promising she would no longer seek that form of punishment.
"Despite my position on the death penalty, my death penalty review board, they move forward, they charge on, they have unanimously voted to seek death in this case," Ayayla said.