• Tomasz Kosowski was charged with first degree murder
  • He sued his former employer and co-workers for "tarnishing" his reputation
  • Police have not yet located the lawyer's body

A Florida plastic surgeon has been arrested and charged with murder, accusing him of killing a lawyer who went missing last week. The lawyer's firm was representing the doctor's former co-workers in a lawsuit filed by the surgeon.

The Tampa-area surgeon, identified as 44-year-old Tomasz Kosowski, was arrested Saturday following an investigation into the disappearance of lawyer Steven Cozzi, 41, who was last seen on March 21 at Blanchard Law, the firm where he worked, NYPost reported.

The Largo Police Department received a missing person's report on March 21. The person who called the cops said Cozzi didn't return to his desk after taking a bathroom break. He found blood on the bathroom door, stall wall and bottom of the toilet, according to the arrest warrant obtained by Tampa Bay Times.

The officers went to the building and learned that Cozzi had left behind his belongings such as car keys, phone and wallet. He was not seen exiting the building by any other employee and even his car was there in the parking lot.

During the investigation, cops found "a strong chemical odor in the men's bathroom of the office and small drops of blood," Largo PD said in a statement Monday.

Security camera footage showed a man entering the complex carrying a backpack, gloves and a large box five minutes before Cozzi reached the office. About two hours later, a man with a similar build left the building with the same backpack, but his clothes were changed, according to an arrest affidavit.

Detectives then launched a hunt for the suspicious person and a vehicle that was seen at the office building. They got a search warrant for Kosowski's residence in Tarpon Springs. "Evidence obtained from the search warrant led to the vehicle stop of Kosowski on Saturday, March 25, 2023," the statement read.

Though police could not locate Cozzi's body, officers said they have concrete evidence indicating that he was murdered by Kosowski.

Kosowski, who also goes by the name "Dr. K," was charged with first-degree murder. He is being held without bail at the Pinellas County Jail.

Blanchard Law was representing Kosowski's former employer, Laufer Institute of Plastic Surgery, and co-workers in an ongoing lawsuit that he filed against them about four years ago.

Kosowski started working for Laufer Institute in 2016 and was involved in performing breast reconstruction surgery. In the lawsuit, he alleged that a woman assigned for his insurance billing by the institute didn't file the claims and misled his patients, which cost him thousands of dollars. His patients also posted negative reviews of him online. He then left Laufer Institute in 2018 and launched his own practice.

"Dr. K's promising young career has essentially been obliterated" by the woman's actions, the lawsuit claimed, reported CBS News. "Through no fault of his own, his career was put directly in jeopardy and his reputation has been deeply tarnished."

Michael Montgomery, who identifies himself as Cozzi's husband, took to Facebook on Sunday and wrote, "My husband and best friend was stolen from us. Today, our greatest fears were realized."

The St. Petersburg Bar Association also shared a heartfelt message on social media.

"We are deeply concerned about the circumstances surrounding the reported disappearance of fellow St. Petersburg Bar Association member, Steve Cozzi. Our thoughts and prayers are with those close to Steve – both personally and professionally," the post read.

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