Body of Leticia Martinez-Cosman found in Renton, says brother
Apr 15, 2023, 8:30 AM | Updated: 8:33 am
(Courtesy of the Seattle Police Department)
A body found April 11 in Renton has been identified as Leticia Martinez-Cosman — who was last seen after a Seattle Mariners game on March 31 — according to the woman’s brother, who confirmed with KIRO Newsradio’s Sam Campbell.
The King County Prosecuting Attorney charged Brett Gitchel, a 46-year-old man, with first-degree attempted murder, among other charges April 11 after allegedly attempting to kill Leticia’s son, Patrick Cosman, on April 2.
Gitchel’s other charges include first-degree kidnapping, unlawful possession of a firearm, first-degree theft, and second-degree arson. The arson charge is related to Seattle firefighters discovering a vehicle “fully engulfed” in flames less than two miles from T-Mobile Park on April 2. The vehicle, a 2016 Honda CRV, was identified as belonging to Martinez-Cosman and was determined to have been torched using an accelerant.
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Charging documents described Leticia Martinez-Cosman as a medication-dependent diabetic while also being the primary caregiver for her 24-year-old son with disabilities, furthering the severity of her disappearance.
“It’s way out of the ordinary. She’s so in touch with her family, families, really everything important to her,” Liz Latham, a friend who met Martinez-Cosman through their Buddhist group, told KIRO Newsradio when Martinez-Cosman was missing. “Leticia has a son, Patrick, who requires special attention. He’s neurodivergent, and he has special needs. So she is in touch with her son 24/7, always checking on him, and he lives with her, and she had been saving for years to try to get a bigger house for the two of them.”
The King County Prosecutor’s Office stated Gitchel’s cell records — using cell tower data to triangulate the location and position of a phone’s location — identified Brett Gitchel’s cell phone activity was consistent with him being at Martinez-Cosman’s home at approximately 2 a.m. April 2, the time her son reportedly fended off a kidnapping.
In an interview with detectives, Patrick recounted being awoken by the sound of a man knocking on his bedroom door on April 2. He was not able to articulate who the man was but described his attacker as being in his 30s or 40s with facial hair and glasses.
The man told him that his mother had been in an accident and that he was going to take him to see her at the hospital. Patrick got into a car with him and “drove around for what seemed like hours.”
The son told detectives that the man then got into the seat in the car behind him and tried to “kill him by smothering or strangling him.” The son stated he was able to fight the man off, even managing to bite his hand.
The son then reportedly escaped from the car and called 911 before going into a neighboring yard and hiding in the bushes.
When Gitchel was brought in by police, he had “numerous visible injuries on his body, including many cuts and scrapes on his hands,” as well as bruises on his face, arms, and body, according to an interview with police two days later.
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Two hours after the alleged kidnapping, SPD Detectives were able to locate and recover surveillance video from the Shell station, located at 2424 Beacon Av S., that depicted Gitchel driving in his 1999 tan Audi. He then parked, removed his light-colored jacket, and placed it in the garbage. He then entered the Shell station and purchased a red one-gallon portable gas canister in one transaction while purchasing a lighter in a second transaction. Surveillance video recorded Gitchel filling the canister with fuel and then driving away in a northbound direction.
Police responded to the car fire 30 minutes after he was at the Shell station, according to police.
Historical data records stated in the early afternoon of April 1, about 15 hours after Leticia was last seen alive at the Mariners’ game, Gitchel drove outside of the city of Seattle into a remote mountainous region in King County, where he reportedly stayed for a short period of time and then returned to Seattle. Approximately 12 hours later, he would attempt to kidnap and assault her son and burn her vehicle.
The man has not appeared in court, and bail was not addressed during the hearing on April 7. He remains in jail while awaiting a charging decision from the county prosecutor.