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Blood and Brass Knuckles: New Details in Murder Case of Plastic Surgeon and Lawyer

Court documents reveal gruesome details in the case of Tomasz Kosowski, accused of killing Steven Cozzi.

Gruesome new details have emerged in the case of the Florida plastic surgeon charged with murder in the disappearance and presumed death of a lawyer representing his former employer in a lawsuit. Tomasz Roman Kosowski, 44, of Tarpon Springs, Florida, was arrested on March 25 and charged with first-degree murder in connection with missing attorney Steven Cozzi of Tampa, Florida, the Largo Police Department posted on Facebook.

The lawyer was last seen going to the bathroom, where police later found a "significant amount of blood." Cozzi and Kosowski were on opposite sides of a lawsuit involving the doctor's previous employer. Court documents reveal new details from the day Cozzi disappeared that link Kosowski to the incident. Cozzi's body has not been found.

What We Know So Far


Kosowski, a plastic surgeon in the Miami-Dade County area, sued his former employer, the Laufer Institute for Plastic Surgery of Dunedin, Florida, four years ago, alleging that the employer's insurance biller mishandled insurance claims of at least two patients, costing him tens of thousands of dollars and resulting in negative reviews.

Cozzi worked at Blanchard Law, P.A., in Largo, Florida, and was one of the legal representatives for Laufer and the defendants in Kosowski's lawsuit. On the day Cozzi vanished, Kosowski had filed unsuccessful motions to compel testimony from Laufer's insurance biller and a request for final judgment in the case.

What Happened to Cozzi?

Pinellas County Sheriff/Facebook

Cozzi was reported missing on March 21. Cozzi left his office, leaving his wallet, car keys, and cell phone. No one saw him leave the building, and his car remained nearby, police said. Police searched the men's bathroom at the law firm. They found "small drops of blood" and smelled bleach.

New Details From the Day Cozzi Vanished


The person who reported Cozzi missing "noted blood smeared on the bathroom door as well as blood on the stall wall and the bottom of the toilet," according to an arrest affidavit filed in Pinellas County Circuit Court on March 27. Surveillance video showed a Toyota Tundra — which police later determined Kosowski had recently bought — arriving at the law firm's building on the morning of Cozzi's disappearance, the affidavit said.

"An unidentified white male is seen entering the building wearing gloves, carrying a large box and wearing a large backpack," it continued. The video later showed the man leave the building, "pulling behind him a large cart that appears to be heavy and have a red bag or blanket. It should be noted that the subject struggled with the weight of the cart while transporting it to the Toyota Tundra."

Evidence Linked to Kosowski


Police found Kosowski's "left index fingerprint" in the law firm's breaker room, "which is not in an area normally accessed by the public," the affidavit said. A traffic camera caught the Toyota Tundra heading to Kosowski's house in Tarpon Springs "with … a red bag or blanket in a cart that appeared to contain what resembles a human body located in the bed of the truck," the affidavit added.

Police Found Blood in the Car, Report Claims


Police searched the house and truck, where "blood was located in the truck bed, on the driver's side headrest, driver's side floorboard, as well as the garage floor," the affidavit said. "A ballistic vest was found in the trunk of the vehicle with a substantial amount of blood located on it," the affidavit said.

"Red fibers were also located on the ballistic vest as well as white fibers [and a] bag containing masks, a taser, brass knuckles, duct tape and intravenous sedatives (succinylcholine (paralyzing agent)) with syringes was found on the passenger floor board of the vehicle."

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Cozzi Was Honored


Family and friends honored Cozzi at a vigil in St. Petersburg, Florida, on March 29. "He loved fighting for the little guy," Cozzi's husband, Michael Montgomery, said. "When he first told me he was an attorney, I was envisioning slicked-back hair and all of that, and then when I met him, he genuinely loved the law. He genuinely loved helping people."

"Our hearts are collectively broken as we process the loss of our fellow board member and friend, Steven Cozzi," said Pinder Hutch Pinder, the president of the St. Petersburg Bar Association.

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