Largo lawyer murder: Blood, firearms, $280,000 cash found in search of surgeon's vehicles, home, police say

Pinellas County plastic surgeon may have been planning to harm or kill a lawyer for days before he showed up at Blanchard Law, P.A. in Largo on March 21, 2023, according to information in documents filed with Pinellas County courts. 

Dr. Tomasz Kosowski is in jail, charged with first-degree murder. His alleged victim, attorney Steven Cozzi, has not been found. 

Evidence police say they found at the law office, where Cozzi was last seen, and at the home of Kosowski and in his car, gave investigators enough to arrest and charge the doctor in Cozzi's disappearance and presumed death. 

Missing lawyer Steven Cozzi courtesy of the Largo Police Department.

Missing lawyer Steven Cozzi courtesy of the Largo Police Department. 

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For investigators, the case began just before noon Tuesday, March 21. They soon learned the events leading up to that day stretched back to at least January, and Kosowski may have been planning his actions as early as March 14.

Officers called after Cozzi disappears from his desk

Officers with the Largo Police Department arrived at Blanchard Law, P.A. located at 1501-B. S Belcher Road, at 11:46 a.m. March 21.

The Blanchard Law office is part of a building with other offices and common areas, a communal bathroom, and a shared utility closet.

Jake Blanchard called to report that his employee, Steven Cozzi, went to the restroom at about 9:50 a.m. and did not return to his desk, where Cozzi left his keys, wallet, cell phone, work laptop, and tablet. Cozzi's vehicle was still in the parking lot.

Blanchard told dispatchers he found blood in the shared bathroom. He also told police that Cozzi was scheduled for a 10:30 a.m. virtual hearing with Kosowski. Kosowski sued his old employer and Cozzi’s firm is representing some of the defendants. 

Officers checked the whole building, and local hospitals, but didn't get any leads. Police said Blanchard Law does not have surveillance cameras inside the building, however, cameras outside the building didn’t show Cozzi leaving. 

Read the full affidavit by clicking here

Building a timeline of Cozzi's morning

Police reviewed surveillance video from earlier that day. At 8:32 a.m., they saw a gray Toyota Tundra pull into the parking lot. At 8:34, a man in jeans, a long-sleeved white shirt, black gloves, and a backpack walked from the parking lot to the main entrance of the law firm, which is an outside door located between two buildings.

The man was carrying a large box on his shoulder. He opened the door to the main entrance and walked into the lobby of the building, documents said.

FULL TIMELINE: Largo lawyer's disappearance and alleged murder

At 8:37 a.m., Cozzi was seen walking toward the building.

Around 9:50 a.m., Jake Blanchard told police that digital records show Cozzi's office door opened. This may have been the time when Cozzi went to the restroom.

Timeline of Kosowski's morning

At 10:22 a.m., a man wearing jeans, a blue short-sleeved shirt, a backpack, and a white surgical mask came out of the main entrance of the law firm, "tugging and pulling at what appeared to be a small wagon on wheels with a heavy load." 

The contents of the wagon were covered by a red or orange blanket. The man pulled the wagon into the parking lot and out of view of the surveillance cameras.

Jake Blanchard confirmed that the man on the video was not Steven Cozzi.

Steven Cozzi disappeared from his office, but was never seen leaving the building.

Steven Cozzi disappeared from his office, but was never seen leaving the building. 

At 11:05 a.m., the same man repositioned the cart in the parking lot and again went out of view of the camera. At 11:15, the man, now wearing a gray shirt and jeans, walked from the parking lot to the northwest corner of the building, and looked toward the main entrance of the law firm before turning around and walking west to the parking lot. 

A minute later, a gray pickup truck left the parking lot. Police said the red or orange bag was in the back of the truck.

Police learned that the 10:30 a.m. hearing that Steven Cozzi missed after he left for the bathroom was for a civil case involving Tomasz Kosowski, who was representing himself as the plaintiff.

Another lawyer who was on the teleconference hearing reported that Kosowski had called in between 10:30 a.m. and 11. 

The man who pulled the wagon away from Blanchard Law was out of view of surveillance cameras at 10:22 a.m., and reappeared in surveillance footage at 11:05 a.m.

Evidence in the communal bathroom

Inside the bathroom, police found what appeared to be blood smeared on the outside of the door, on the exterior of the toilet bowl and drops in the single stall. Investigators said they also noticed dark liquid on the floor of the stall that was dried and smeared in a circular motion. 

Police said the room smelled like cleaning products, and the appearance was consistent with attempts to clean blood from the floor.

A fingerprint inside the utility closet door was later identified as belonging to Kosowski, documents show.

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Communal bathroom at Blanchard Law covered with apparent fingerprint dust after Attorney Steven Cozzi's disappearance

Employee reports suspicious man in utility closet

Meanwhile, police said an employee with another business inside the building reported a suspicious incident just a week before Cozzi's disappearance. On March 14, the employee walked into the utility closet that shares an adjoining wall with the men's restroom and encountered a man hiding behind the door in the dark room, court documents said. He was wearing jeans, a loose t-shirt, and a surgical face mask.

The man told the employee he was there because of a power outage, and walked out of the room. The employee told detectives she saw the man leave in a truck that was believed to be a Toyota Tundra. The employee noticed the truck had a yellow license plate, possibly from New Jersey.

Surveillance video showed that the truck from the March 21 incident and the March 14 incident appeared to be the same.

January 26 incident takes new meaning

Blanchard told detectives that on Jan. 26, Cozzi and Kosowski attended a deposition at the Blanchard Law office suite, and it became "verbally contentious." 

After the deposition, Blanchard said Kosowski had confronted Cozzi in the men's restroom and again before Kosowski left the premises.

Timeline of Kosowski's whereabouts after leaving Blanchard Law

After the gray Toyota Tundra left Blanchard Law, surveillance video from a Circle K located on South Belcher Road showed a PSTA bus near the vehicle. Video from the bus with the timestamp 11:24 a.m. showed a large orange or red bag or container in the bed of the suspect vehicle.

MORE: Largo attorney murder: Surveillance captures man exiting law firm pulling large cart; surgeon arrested

Footage from a surveillance camera near Kosowski's home on Seaview Drive in Tarpon Springs captured a Toyota Tundra with an unregistered New Jersey license plate at 11:51 a.m. Inside the truck bed appeared to be the wagon and its contents were covered by a red or orange blanket.

Tomasz Kosowski Dunedin home.

Tomasz Kosowski's home. 

Court documents said a camera captured what appeared to resemble a human body in the bed of the truck. 

For several hours, there was no sight of the person observed on the law firm's surveillance video. The Toyota truck remained at the house in Tarpon Springs.

Then, at 4:48 p.m., surveillance footage from a neighbor's home shows a red Toyota Corolla – registered to Kosowski – leaving the property. A neighbor told investigators the vehicle belonged to her neighbor, "Tom."

Three minutes later, the red car returned. Seven minutes after that, it left again.

A license plate reader at 52195 Tamiami Trail East in Ochopee, a four-hour drive south of Tarpon Springs, captured the red Toyota Corolla headed south on March 21, the same day Cozzi disappeared.

Blood, other physical evidence found at Kosowski's home

Two days later, investigators obtained a warrant to search Kosowski’s home. In the garage, they found the Toyota Tundra. They also found blood in the truck bed and on the floor, documents say.

The Toyota Corolla was not at the home, nor were the clothing worn by the person seen on surveillance cameras at Blanchard Law, the wagon, or the orange/red blanket.

They also did not find a body or human remains.

Kosowski's arrest

On Saturday, March 25, police pulled Kosowski over while he was driving his red Toyota Corolla in Pinellas County. A search warrant was issued for the car and investigators found an iPhone, a prepaid phone, a ballistic vest, two sets of gloves, a surgical mask, a license plate concealment controller, several guns, a hairnet, sponges, a laptop and iPad, $282,120 in cash, some of which was in $10,000 bundles, a pocket knife, sedatives and other "masks, weapons, [and] tools."

Pictured: The Red Toyota Corolla Tomasz Kosowski was driving when he was arrested in Tarpon Springs. 

Kosowski’s arrest affidavit says the car also contained brass knuckles, a taser, duct tape and syringes. 

Kosowski was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. He was denied bond.

On March 27, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office filed a temporary risk protection order, which a judge approved. It ordered Kosowski to turn over all of his guns and ammunition. The order restricts a person who may be a threat to themselves or others from possessing firearms or ammunition. According to the filing, detectives believe Kosowski had 100 handguns, 100 rifles, 1,000 rifle rounds and 1,000 handgun rounds in his home.

Kosowski’s attorney, who said his client is presumed innocent, wouldn’t comment on the number of firearms, but said they did comply with the request. He said the firearms were removed from the home and stored in a separate location. 

Court records in the filing said there is evidence that Kosowski may be mentally ill, has engaged in acts of violence and has threatened to use weapons against himself or others. 

A judge will determine whether to make the temporary risk protection order final on April 5 at 11 a.m.