TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A probable cause affidavit provided new details about the 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, 1501 S Belcher Road. The firm’s managing partner, Jake Blanchard, told 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 from 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 arrive 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. 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 reposition the cart near the Tundra and struggle 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 license plate reading camera on his way home to Tarpon Springs 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 and on the floorboard and garage floor.
Police said Kosowski bought the Tundra last year, but never registered it or recorded the title.
Police said Kosowski returned to Pinellas County Saturday 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.”