April 2, 2023

USA: Florida Plastic Surgeon Charged With The Murder Of A Lawyer Who Represented Defendents The Surgeon Was Suing Over A Billing Dispute With Former Employer. Police Searching For Body.

NewsNation published March 27, 2023: Surgeon accused of killing Florida lawyer. A probable cause affidavit provided new details about the Florida plastic surgeon who was arrested on suspicion of murder following the disappearance of Largo lawyer Steven Cozzi. NewsNation affiliate WFLA reporter Shannon Behnken reports.
WFLA News Channel published March 28, 2023: Missing Largo lawyer case: Search warrant shows nearly $290K in cash, guns found in plastic surgeon'. A search warrant in the case of a missing Largo lawyer showed nearly $290,000 in cash and several guns were found in the plastic surgeon's car who was arrested on suspicion of murder.
FOX 13 Tampa Bay published March 27, 2023: Florida doctor charged with murder in connection with missing lawyer. A Florida plastic surgeon has been charged with first-degree murder after an attorney vanished from his office under suspicious circumstances.
10 Tampa Bay published March 27, 2023: Police still searching for body of missing lawyer, surgeon charged. Investigators have blood, video and other evidence linking a Tampa-area plastic surgeon to the disappearance and presumed death of a lawyer who was representing former colleagues the doctor is suing, prosecutors said in court documents filed Monday. The lawyer's body has yet to be found, but prosecutors have charged Dr. Tomasz Kosowski with first-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty. Security video shows someone driving Kosowski's pickup truck last Tuesday morning outside the law firm where Steven Cozzi worked. The person went inside wearing a backpack and gloves and carrying a large box, prosecutors said.
NBC News published March 27, 2023 Florida plastic surgeon charged with murder in lawyer's disappearance. A Florida plastic surgeon has been charged with murder in connection to a missing local attorney. NBC’s Steven Romo has more on how the missing persons case quickly turned into a murder investigation after blood was discovered in his law firm’s bathroom.

written by Athina Morris
Tuesday March 28, 2023

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A probable cause affidavit provided new details about the Florida plastic surgeon who was arrested on suspicion of murder following the disappearance of Largo lawyer Steven Cozzi.

Tomasz Roman Kosowski, 44, was arrested Saturday after police stopped his vehicle in Tarpon Springs. He faces a first-degree murder charge in Cozzi’s death, but Cozzi’s body has not been found.

Although the motive remains unclear, the affidavit said both men were supposed to attend the same hearing by telephone on the morning Cozzi disappeared.

The lawyer vanished Tuesday and was last seen at his office at Blanchard Law. The firm’s managing partner, Jake Blanchard, told Nexstar’s WFLA Cozzi went to the bathroom but did not return.

According to the affidavit, the person who reported him missing had searched the bathroom and noticed blood smeared on the door, a stall, and the bottom of a toilet. Police said Cozzi had left behind his wallet, car keys, and cell phone. He was in the process of responding to an email and music was playing on his phone.

Investigators processed the scene and discovered a large quantity of blood was cleaned up from the bathroom floor. White fibers were found in the bathroom and in Cozzi’s vehicle. The suspect’s fingerprint was found in the building’s breaker room, the affidavit said.

The building’s surveillance cameras captured a Toyota Tundra arriving at Cozzi’s office around 8:32 a.m. the day of the supposed murder. Moments later, a man identified as Kosowski was seen entering the building, wearing a backpack and gloves, and carrying a large box.

Five minutes later, Cozzi arrived at his office.

Around 10:22 a.m., Kosowski was seen leaving the building in different clothes, authorities explained. He was pulling a cart that contained a red bag or blanket, which he was struggling to transport to the Tundra.

Police said their telephone hearing was supposed to begin at 10:30 a.m. Kosowski attended the hearing from 10:28 a.m. to 11:04 a.m., but Cozzi did not show up.

Kosowski disconnected from the hearing and was captured at the scene of the crime moments later. Video shows him repositioning the cart near the Tundra and struggling to get it into the bed of the truck.

Cozzi was never seen exiting the business, the affidavit noted.

The report said Kosowski drove past a license plate reading camera on his way home around 11:51 a.m. Tuesday. The camera captured an image of the cart in the bed of the truck with a red bag or blanket containing something resembling a human body.

Police said the Toyota arrived at Kosowski’s residence minutes later. At 4:58 p.m. Tuesday, his red Toyota Corolla was seen leaving the area of his home. Hours later, it showed up on tag readers in Miami.

On Thursday, police executed a search warrant on Kosowski’s home and found the same Tundra in his garage. Forensic investigators processed the vehicle and found blood in the bed of the truck, the driver’s side headrest, on the floorboard, and on the garage floor.

Police said Kosowski bought the Tundra last year, but never registered it or recorded the title.

Kosowski returned to Pinellas County Saturday, authorities explained, and was stopped by police in Tarpon Springs. A search of his Corolla turned up a ballistic vest with “a substantial amount of blood” on it, red and white fibers, and a bag containing a taser, masks, duct tape, brass knuckles, and “intravenous sedatives” with syringes.

“Due to the large quantity of blood located at the crime scene, the defendant’s home and vehicle, along with the fact that the subject removed a container large enough to conceal a human body and the victim was never seen exiting the business on surveillance it is believed that the victim is deceased and the defendant intentionally, by a premeditated design caused his death,” the affidavit said.

Kosowski’s bail hearing was postponed on Monday.

“We weren’t going to get a bail today. There’s a lot of factors involved, and we need to explore a few things, and then we will address that in the near future,” his attorney, Bjorn Brunvand said.

Brunvand declined to comment when asked about the relationship between his client and the victim, and if his client was cooperating with the investigation.

He said a plea would be entered if and when formal charges are filed with the court.

“Keep an open mind, these are very, very serious charges. He is presumed innocent as he is currently sitting in jail. We’re conducting our own investigation, and as it develops, we will keep you updated,” Brunvand said. “Keep in mind that fact that he is a doctor and that he is presumed innocent despite the nature of their charges.”

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