A Lawyer Went to the Bathroom at Work. He Never Came Back

No body has been found, but Florida plastic surgeon Tomasz Kosowski is charged with murder
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2023 8:22 AM CDT
Updated Apr 1, 2023 4:05 PM CDT

The last time Florida attorney Steven Cozzi was seen was last Tuesday, at his office in Largo. Now, a local plastic surgeon is facing first-degree murder charges in Cozzi's death, though the lawyer's body still hasn't been located, reports FOX 13. Police say that after executing a search warrant on the Tarpon Springs home of 44-year-old Dr. Tomasz Roman Kosowski and finding the evidence they needed to make an arrest, they detained him on Saturday during a traffic stop. Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Times notes that Cozzi's disappearance on March 21 "could not have been more mysterious." Cozzi's wallet, keys, and cellphone were found at his office at Blanchard Law, his phone still playing music and an email left unfinished.

The firm's managing partner tells WFLA that Cozzi went to the bathroom that morning and never came back. Per an arrest affidavit, the person who reported Cozzi missing went to the public bathroom to search for him and found blood on the bathroom's door, as well as on a stall wall and the bottom of a toilet. A forensics team later determined "a large quantity of blood" had been cleaned up from the floor. Police say there was also a strong chemical smell. Per the affidavit, surveillance footage shows a Toyota Tundra drive up earlier that morning, followed by a man entering through the building's only unsecured entrance just a couple of minutes later, sporting a backpack and gloves and carrying a box.

Cozzi was seen on the footage arriving at work a few minutes after that. Nearly two hours later, surveillance video shows the man who apparently arrived in the Tundra exiting the building in different clothes, pulling a large cart with what looked like a red blanket or bag that he struggled to get into the Tundra, per police. Cozzi was never spotted on surveillance video leaving the building, per the affidavit. Police discovered the Tundra had been sold to Kosowski, who was pulled over Tuesday in Tarpon Springs driving a red Toyota Corolla.

Cops say they found a ballistic vest with "a substantial amount of blood" on it, per the affidavit, as well as a stun gun, masks, duct tape, brass knuckles, a paralyzing agent, and "intravenous sedatives" with syringes. One apparent connection between the two men: Cozzi was an attorney for the defendants in a suit Kosowski had brought against his former employer, per court records cited by FOX 13. Kosowski was set to have had a bail hearing on Monday, but it was postponed. His attorney, Bjorn Brunvand, told reporters outside the courthouse that everyone should "keep an open mind" about the case, and remember "that he is a doctor and that he is presumed innocent." (Read more murder charges stories.)

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