The story of a missing Florida family took a grim turn Monday when police turned up at their doorstep to conduct a death investigation.
Relatives first reported the Todt family missing last Wednesday, asking for information on the whereabouts of Anthony, Megan, and their three young children in a Facebook group that quickly swelled to nearly 2,500 members.
The family had recently moved from Colchester, Connecticut, to Celebration, Florida-a gated community on the outskirts of Disney World, designed and built by the Walt Disney Company. Relatives said they last heard from the family on Jan. 6. Neighbors reported last seeing them in mid-December.
Celebration, Florida: How Disney's 'Community of Tomorrow' Became a Total Nightmare
"Worried sick!!!" one family friend wrote. "I keep sending them messages on messenger and they are being sent but not delivered. I'm guessing their phones are off. Praying for their safe return."
But with news of the death investigation Monday, the posts turned less hopeful. "Please respect our family," one relative wrote. "We don't know anymore."
Police responded to an address registered to the Todts at 11:30 Monday morning, according to local media. Neighbors had reportedly called the police after not seeing the children in several days. One neighbor told The Daily Beast that police had also cordoned off an area of the local park frequented by the mother and kids. Neighbors reported seeing the father of the family that lived in the home being ordered out by armed deputies and taken away in handcuffs.
The Osceola County Sheriff's Office did not confirm that the investigation was related to the Todt family and did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
"This is an isolated incident, and all parties involved with this death investigation are accounted for," Sheriff Russ Gibson said in a brief press conference, adding that they were in "the very beginning stages of the investigation."
Court records show an eviction order was entered against the family late last month, but no response had been filed as of Monday. Both Anthony and Megan appear to have worked at a family-owned physical therapy office in Connecticut. State records show Anthony's license expired in September and had not been renewed; Megan's was set to expire at the end of this month.
Family members said on Facebook that they were in touch with authorities in both Connecticut and Florida but declined to comment further when reached by The Daily Beast.
Read more at The Daily Beast.
Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here
Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!
Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.