ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — The husband of missing Largo attorney Steven Cozzi spoke out publicly for the first time today.

“He just genuinely loved the law,” said Michael Montgomery. “He genuinely loved helping people. And it was just wonderful to watch his passion for it.”

Michael Montgomery and nearly 200 friends, family and members of the St. Petersburg Bar Association gathered outside the St. Petersburg courthouse Wednesday for a memorial for Cozzi.

“He loved to run, he loved his dogs, he loved to come home after work,” said Montgomery. “He loved being an attorney, he loved fighting for the little guy.”

Cozzi left his desk at his law firm last week to use the restroom but never came back. He was supposed to join a work call but didn’t show up. According to police, Cozzi was murdered by plastic surgeon Tomasz Kosowski, leaving family and friends with more questions than answers.

“Based upon the allegations,” said Hutch Pinder. “Steve was murdered for simply doing his job.”

Pinder is the president of the St. Petersburg Bar Association. He and the attendees at the memorial held hands during a moment of silence.

“Steve’s genuine, heartfelt transparency,” recalled Pinder. “His quick wit, and kind smile were refreshing and endearing to us all.”

White ribbons were passed around and pinned to lapels and blouses as Cozzi’s fellow lawyers and judges spoke.

A crowd of nearly 200 gathered to remember Steven Cozzi. (WFLA)

“There’s a time for sadness, there’s a time for remembrance,” said Sixth Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Anthony Rondolino. “But there’s also a time for application of strength and courage and moving forward.”

Despite the circumstances, even Montgomery found a way to appreciate the event.

“Very grateful for all of the people that have reached out,” Montgomery said. “I love getting to know my husband better even after this tragedy. That’s been an absolute gift for me.”

Kosowski was arrested Saturday after police stopped his vehicle in Tarpon Springs. The search warrant said there was nearly $290,000 in cash and several guns inside. Cozzi remains missing and police continue to search for him.

Court documents show Kosowski and Cozzi did know each other from a past trial involving Kosowski’s former employer and a medical billing dispute, but it’s unclear if that’s the motive in this case.