PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A plastic surgeon from Tarpon Springs was charged with first-degree murder in regard to a missing person who police said disappeared under suspicious circumstances on Tuesday.

According to a release from the Largo Police Department, Dr. Tomasz Kosowski, 44, of Tarpon Springs, was charged with murder in the first degree for his alleged connection to the disappearance of Steven Cozzi.

(Pinellas County Jail)

On Tuesday, March 21, officers received a report that Cozzi had left his office at 1501 S Belcher Road, leaving behind his wallet, car keys, vehicle, and cell phone.

However, officers later learned he was never seen exiting the building.

Office workers told WFLA’s Shannon Behnken the office lobby was shut down and established as a crime scene. Authorities later found a “strong chemical odor” coming from the men’s bathroom where small drops of blood were found.

“Further investigation found a significant amount of blood in the same bathroom,” the release added. “Detectives then began looking for a suspicious person and vehicle that were seen at the office building the same time as the victim.”

Once Kosowski was identified as a potential suspect, authorities obtained a search warrant to search his home in Tarpon Springs.

“Evidence obtained from the search warrant” led authorities to stop Kosowski on Saturday, March 25, 2023, in Tarpon Springs where he was arrested.

The department said the body of Steven Cozzi remains missing as of this report.

An investigation is ongoing.

Court records show Kosowski is involved with an ongoing civil lawsuit which he filed in 2019, involving a medical billing dispute. The law firm where Cozzi worked, Blanchard Law, represented several of the defendants.

Kosowski’s suit is against people associated with the Laufer Institute of Plastic Surgery, where he used to work. Kosowski sued for negligence, breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation. According to the suit, he was seeking in excess of $15,000.

(Source: Blanchard Law, P.A.)

Kosowski had an attorney representing the case when he filed in 2019, but is now representing himself pro se. The last motion he filed in the case was on Friday – three days after Largo Police say Cozzi was murdered.

Jake Blanchard, who owns the law firm, tells Investigator Shannon Behnken that Cozzi has worked at the firm for five years and became one of his best friends. Blanchard said he was in Cozzi’s wedding.

“Steven was great at his job, very polite,” Blanchard said. “He was the best associate anyone could want. I can’t believe this has happened. We are devastated.”

On Sunday, Cozzi’s mother, Lois Cozzi, said her family was “frantic with worry and numb with fear over Steven’s disappearance.”

Cozzi also shared that her son was senselessly stolen from his family.

After the news of the arrest broke, Steven’s mother told 8 On Your Side Investigator Mahsa Saeidi, “a wonderful human being, who loved his family, who was smart and kind, has been stolen from us. It is totally senseless.”

Anyone with information related to the investigation is asked to call Detective Bolton at the Largo Police Department at 727-587-6730.