Washington – King County – The remains discovered in a Washington state park have been identified as those of a missing mom who was last seen attending a Seattle Mariners baseball game. Prosecutors plan to charge the man who accompanied her that night with her murder.
Leticia Martinez-Cosman, 58, went to the baseball game at T-Mobile Park with 46-year-old Brett Gitchel on March 31. She sent her family a selfie of her and her date at the game that evening, People magazine states, but never returned home. Her brother reported her missing on April 2.
Martinez-Cosman’s body was found on April 11 in a wooded area between Talbot Road and State Route 167 in Renton. The King County Medical Examiner’s Office conducted an autopsy, ruling her death a homicide caused by asphyxiation from strangulation.
After the game, Gitchel allegedly visited Martinez-Cosman’s home, which she shared with her 24-year-old special needs son, Patrick Cosman. Gitchel reportedly persuaded Patrick to join him on a car ride, claiming he would take him to the hospital to see his mother, who he said had been in an accident. During the drive, Gitchel allegedly attempted to strangle Patrick from the back seat, but Patrick managed to fight back and escape.
Around 6:40 a.m., two hours after the alleged attack, the Seattle Fire Department responded to a call about a burning car. The vehicle, a Honda CRV, belonged to Martinez-Cosman.
Investigators claim Gitchel’s phone pinged near the site of the vehicle fire. They also claim to have obtained surveillance footage from a nearby gas station showing him buying a gallon of gas.
On April 5, Gitchel was arrested and charged with attempted murder for the alleged attack on Martinez-Cosman’s son, as well as arson, kidnapping, and unlawful possession of a firearm.
A spokesperson for the King County Prosecutor’s Office stated their intention to add a second-degree murder charge against Gitchel
Online Dating and Safety Concerns
This tragic incident serves as a stark reminder of the potential dangers associated with online dating. It is essential for individuals to take precautions when meeting someone new, such as informing friends or family members about the date, meeting in a public place, and using one’s own transportation. Additionally, it is crucial to trust one’s instincts and to not be afraid to end a date early if something feels off.
Community Mourning and Support
The community has come together in mourning for Leticia Martinez-Cosman, expressing their shock and grief at the tragic turn of events. Friends and family have described her as a loving and devoted mother who was well-liked by everyone who knew her. A GoFundMe page has been set up to support her family and help with funeral expenses.
Seattle Police book suspect into jail for homicide and kidnapping https://t.co/pSFtI3ikyi
— Seattle Homicide (@HomicideSeattle) April 6, 2024
The heart-wrenching story of Leticia Martinez-Cosman’s disappearance and subsequent death highlights the need for caution and safety when engaging in online dating. As the community grieves for the loss of a beloved mother, the case serves as a sobering reminder of the potential dangers that can arise from meeting strangers online.