Body of missing woman found strangled after she went on date with alleged killer she met at Costco
The body of a woman who went missing after attending a Seattle Mariners game with a man she met at Costco has been found in Renton, Washington.
Leticia Martinez-Cosman, 58, was identified as the body that Seattle Police discovered last week in a ditch on the side of a road in a remote area of Renton, according to KOMO News.
The King County Medical Examiner’s office confirmed Ms Martinez-Cosman’s identification and said the manner of death was strangulation, according to KING 5.
BREAKING: @SeattlePD tell @komonews they responded to this Renton culdesac in relation to the Leticia Martinez-Cosman case and they DID FIND A BODY here. An identity of the body hasn't been released yet. This spot is only a mile from where Leticia's son escaped being kidnapped pic.twitter.com/MIYJv2U64s
— Ryan Simms (@RyanTVnews) April 12, 2023
Ricardo Martinez, the brother of Ms Martinez-Cosman, told KOMO News that finding her “was a complete relief.”
"Just to know we have her, and we can take her back to see her mom and her family,” Mr Martinez said. "Even if we didn’t find her, I don’t know where I’d be and my state of mind, but this has changed my whole life.”
Ms Martinez-Cosman was last seen attending a baseball game at T-Mobile Park on 31 March with a male companion named Brett Michael Gitchel. The two took a selfie together while attending the game which Ms Martinez-Cosman sent to a friend.
Ms Martinez-Cosman apparently met Mr Gitchel at a south Seattle Costco on 19 March. Documents obtained by KOMO News claim the same friend she texted was the one she was with when she met Mr Gitchel.
Two days after the game, Mr Martinez filed a missing person report to the King County Sheriff’s Office to report his sister missing.
The same day, Ms Martinez-Cosman’s adult son who has special needs, Patrick Cosman, was allegedly assaulted and almost kidnapped by Mr Gitchel but managed to escape.
Mr Gitchel told Patrick that his mother had been in an accident and was going to take him to see her at the hospital, according to court documents obtained by KOMO News. After driving around for an undisclosed amount of time, Mr Gitchel got out of the car then got back in, and tried to cover his face and neck with an unknown material.
Ms Martinez-Cosman’s son was able to overpower Mr Gitchel and got out of the vehicle to contact 911.
According to a GoFundMe page, started by Mr Martinez, Patrick showed up at his uncle’s home “distressed” and explained he was assaulted and nearly kidnapped.
Hours after the alleged attempted kidnapping, Ms Martinez-Cosman’s Honda CRV was found burned by a fire, according to court documents obtained by PEOPLE.
Mr Gitchel, 46, is currently being held at the King County Correctional Facility on a $5m bond. He has been charged with attempted murder in the first degree, kidnapping in the first degree, theft in the first degree, unlaw possession of firearms in the second degree, burglary in the second degree, and arson in the second degree.
The King County Prosecutor’s Office said they plan to amend Mr Gitchel’s charges and add a count of second-degree murder, according to KING 5.
The family of Ms Martinez-Cosman is asking for donations to help pay for Ms Martinez-Cosman’s funeral, pay for legal costs, and provide ongoing care for Mr Cosman.
“At this stage, our family is devastated [by] the unfathomable loss of Leticia and her son’s traumatic experience. We desperately need your help during this difficult time,” Mr Martinez wrote in the description of the GoFundMe page.