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Brass Knuckles And 'Substantial Amount Of Blood' Found In Florida Plastic Surgeon's Car In Attorney's Murder Investigation
Largo Police wrote in an arrest affidavit that a "substantial amount" of blood was found both in plastic surgeon Tomasz Kowoski's home, vehicle and in the law firm bathroom where attorney Steven Cozzi took a break before disappearing.
An arrest affidavit shows that intravenous muscle relaxants, brass knuckles, a taser, duct tape and a "substantial amount of blood" were found in the car of Florida plastic surgeon Tomasz Kosowski, who's charged with murder in the presumed death of lawyer Steven Cozzi.
Cozzi body has not been found and the surgeon has pleaded not guilty to his murder.
Cozzi, 41, never returned from a bathroom break in his office at Blanchard Law Firm, P.A. on Belcher Road in Largo on March 21. Managing partner Jake Blanchard, Cozzi's coworker and best friend who first reported him missing, told WFLA that the attorney left his keys, wallet and phone at his desk. The attorney was never seen leaving the office on the building's surveillance footage.
A forensic investigation showed that a "large amount of blood" had been cleaned from the bathroom floor at the law firm, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by Law & Crime. One of Cozzi's colleagues found some blood left smeared on the door, floor and stall wall.
White fibers matching those found in 44-year-old Kosowski's car were also found in that bathroom. And his left index fingerprint was left in the office's break room, Largo Police wrote in the document.
CCTV security cameras captured an unidentified white man in a gray Toyota Tundra arriving in the parking lot around 8:30 a.m. that morning and entering the building wearing gloves, carrying a large box and wearing a large backpack, according to the affidavit.
Cozzi can be seen entering the building in a red sweater minutes later. Red fibers would later be found in Kosowski's trunk.
Around 10:22 a.m., a man wearing the same backpack that was seen on the man captured on the way in, but wearing different clothes, is seen struggling to pull a large cart covered with a red blanket, police wrote in the affidavit.
The lawyer's firm has been representing the defendants in an ongoing lawsuit brought by the surgeon, in which he's seeking more than $15,000 in damages from his former employer Dunedin Surgical Consultants Inc. for alleged negligence, fraudulent misrepresentation and breach of contract, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Cozzi is listed as the representative of Kosowski's former coworkers in several court filings, according to Law & Crime.
Kosowski logged in to a virtual court haring that started at 10:30 that day between 10:28 a.m. and 11:04 a.m. Surveillance footage of the parking lot during that period shows the man police believe to be Kosowski sitting in his car with the heavy cart sitting alongside it.
Cozzi and Kosowski attended an earlier deposition on Jan. 26 together at the Blanchard Law office, according to FOX 13. That meeting "became verbally contentious," and Kosowski allegedly confronted the lawyer twice before leaving.
After the March 21 hearing, the man believed to be Kosowski is seen loading the contents of the cart into the bed of his Toyota.
The Toyota Tundra is captured by a traffic camera at 11:51 a.m., appearing to contain "what resembles a human body located in the bed of the truck," before arriving at the plastic surgeon's Tarpon Springs residence at 11:58 a.m. Five hours later, police wrote, Kosowski left his house in a red Toyota Corolla, his typical vehicle.
Kosowski was driving the Corolla when he was pulled over in a traffic stop on March 25. In that car, police found vials of succinylcholine with syringes, brass knuckles, a taser, duct tape and a large amount of blood.
A later search of the Toyota Tundra, which was unregistered and sold to Kosowski in October of 2022, found more blood residue, in the truck bed, on the driver's side headrest, on the floorboard and underneath on the garage floor.
"Due to the large quantity of blood located at the crime scene, [Kosowski's] home and vehicle, along with the fact that [Kosowski] 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 [Kosowski] intentionally, by premeditated design caused his death," Largo Police wrote.
Kosowski was charged with Cozzi's murder on March 27.
On March 28, a Pinellas County Court judge ordered that Kosowski be held without bond, according to CBS News. His next court appearance is scheduled for April 5.
Last Wednesday, Cozzi's friends and family honored his memory at a vigil in St. Petersburg, according to FOX 13.
"He loved fighting for the little guy," Cozzi's husband Michael Montgomery told the outlet. "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."
Hutch Pinder, the president of the St. Petersburg Bar Association, told the outlet that Cozzi "generously allowed you into his heart," and that he was struggling to process his apparent murder.
"Steve was murdered for simply doing his job," Pinder told FOX 13.