Florida Plastic Surgeon Charged With Murder of Missing Attorney

A Florida plastic surgeon was arrested early Sunday morning, charged with the murder of a missing Pinellas County lawyer.

Attorney Steven Cozzi, 41, was reported missing on Tuesday, according to the Largo Police Department, which said Cozzi was not seen leaving his office building and left behind  his wallet, car, keys, cell phone, and vehicle.

Investigators noted “a strong chemical odor in the men’s bathroom” in the building and found small drops of blood.

“A subsequent forensics investigation revealed a significant amount of blood in the same bathroom,” police said.

Detectives launched a search for “a suspicious person and vehicle” witnesses reported seeing at the office building at the same time Cozzi was last seen. That person turned out to be 44-year-old plastic surgeon Tomasz Roman Kosowski, according to police, who obtained a search warrant for his Tarpon Springs home.

Evidence found during the search prompted detectives to conduct a vehicle stop of Kosowski on Saturday. He was taken into custody and ultimately booked into the Pinellas County Jail on a charge of first degree murder.

Cozzi’s body has not been located, and police released no further information, saying they would provide “additional information when the integrity of the investigation allows us to do so.”

Cozzi worked for Blanchard Law in Largo, whose principal, Jake Blanchard, represents several defendants associated with Kowoski’s former employer, Laufer Institute of Plastic Surgery in Dunedin, in a lawsuit filed by Kosowski in May 2019. According to the Tampa Bay Times, the lawsuit stems from a medical billing dispute in which Kowoski claims his assigned insurance biller did not provide billing statement and “intentionally and continually misrepresented” that claims had been filed properly.

According to the lawsuit, the biller’s actions led to negative online reviews which put Kosowski’s career “directly in jeopardy and his reputation has been deeply tarnished,” the Associated Press said.

Kowoski left Laufer in 2018 and started his own practice.

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[Featured image: Steven Cozzi/Facebook and Tomasz Kowoski/Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office]