Prosecutors have filed a motion requesting that a plastic surgeon charged with first-degree murder in the death of a missing Largo lawyer be held without bail while awaiting trial.
Steven Cozzi vanished from his office at Blanchard Law, 1501 S Belcher Road, in the middle of the day on March 21. Days later, on March 26, Tomasz Kosowski, 44, was arrested in the death of the attorney, with whom he had faced off in court.
In court documents filed Friday evening, the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s Office laid out its arguments for holding Kosowski in jail until he stands trial, including DNA testing that showed Cozzi’s blood was found at his office “on various surfaces of the men’s bathroom including the floor, divider, stained paper towels, napkins, and the drain” and in Kosowski’s Toyota Tundra. Cozzi’s DNA also was found in the trunk of Kosowski’s Toyota Corolla.
In addition, testing revealed Cozzi’s blood was mixed with Kosowski’s DNA in a sample collected from the garage floor of Kosowski’s Tarpon Springs home, 511 Seaview Drive, the filing said, and both men’s DNA was found on evidence taken from the outside of the restroom door at Cozzi’s office.
According to previously available court records, police located surveillance video from Cozzi’s office that showed a man entering the building on the day the lawyer disappeared, then leaving with a cart large enough to hold a body.
Authorities say a review of Kosowski’s cellphone records led to a dumpster located near U.S. 41 and Loop Road on the Tamiami Trail.
After a cadaver dog “alerted to the dumpster,” investigators spoke with the garbage truck driver responsible for emptying the dumpster. The driver said it normally contains camping materials, but on March 23 — a day after Kosowski’s cellphone records show him stopping there for a few minutes — it was heavier than it usually is and smelled “vile,” according to the Friday court filing.
The motion says that a video recorded as the dumpster was emptied into the truck “shows a large garbage bag falling in a manner inconsistent with normal trash and consistent with being shaped and falling in a manner not inconsistent with a wrapped human body.”
Investigators from several law enforcement agencies searched the Collier County Landfill for Cozzi’s body for multiple days, but said Waste Management workers told them that trash at the landfill “is compacted to approximately one-third its normal size making recovery efforts nearly impossible.”
Prosecuting Kosowski for first-degree murder without a body is unusual, but a handful of defendants have been convicted in Tampa Bay in cases in which the victim’s body has not been found.
The State Attorney’s Office has filed notice of its intent to seek the death penalty.