This week the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office filed felony charges against Brett Michael Gitchel, 46, in connection with the death of Leticia Martinez-Cosman, 58, the former owner of a White Center coffee shop.

Prosecutors said they will also be adding a count of Murder in the Second Degree for her homicide next week.

Gitchel remains in the King County Jail on $5 million bail requested by prosecutors and approved by the court.

According to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office, Martinez-Cosman died from asphyxiation due to strangulation, and ruled her death a homicide on April 14, 2023. She went missing for several days after attending a Seattle Mariners game with Gitchel on Mar. 31, and her body was found in Renton on April 11.

If Martinez-Cosman looks familiar, that’s because she was the owner in the 2000s of a coffee shop called Cafe Rozella on Delridge Way in White Center.

Charging documents allege that Gitchel killed Martinez-Cosman, whose body was found on April 11 in Renton. She was the mother and primary caregiver for a 24-year-old son with disabilities. A day after Martinez-Cosman was last seen alive with Gitchel at a Seattle Mariners game, Prosecutors allege that he kidnapped her disabled son and attempted to strangle him to unconsciousness. Two hours after the kidnapping and assault of her son, Martinez-Cosman’s car was found burned from a fire started with accelerants in the passenger seat.

“Gitchel exhibited injuries consistent with the assault of Patrick Cosman and denied going to the Mariners’ game with Leticia and claimed to not recognize her, until he was shown a photograph of them together that he could not deny,” Prosecutors said.

Here’s more from charging documents:

“Cell records that used cell tower data to triangulate the location and position of a phone’s location, identify that Brett Gitchel’s cell phone activity is consistent with him being at the Martinez-Cosman’s home at 0200 hours on 4/02/2023 (at the time Patrick was kidnapped), the records show Brett driving around the south King County area for about 2 hours (consistent with the statement of Patrick), the records show Brett being near 3400 Talbot Rd S, Renton at the time

“Patrick stated he was being strangled and threatened inside the vehicle, the records show Brett leaving the area before the arrival of the Renton Police. His cell records show him driving back to Seattle, and the records show him being in the area of 904 Golf Dr S at the time Leticia’s vehicle was being set on fire. Surveillance video on the morning of April 2, 2023 show Brett Gitchel buying a gas can and a lighter at a Shell Station just blocks away and 15 minutes before Leticia’s vehicle was discovered burning on the side of the road.”

Prosecutors are charging Gitchel with: 

  • Attempted Murder in the First Degree (involving Patrick Cosman)
  • Kidnapping in the First Degree (involving Patrick Cosman)
  • Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in the Second Degree
  • Theft in the First Degree (from Costco)
  • Arson in the Second Degree (involving Leticia Martinez-Cosman’s Honda CRV)

They say that next week they will add a count of Murder in the Second Degree for the murder of Martinez-Cosman.

GoFundMe pages started

A GoFundMe page has been created to help Martinez-Cosman’ son, and as of April 15, 2023, it has raised $26,608 of a $50,000 goal.

“On March 31, 2023, his mother, Leticia Martinez-Cosman, attended a Seattle Mariners baseball game and was never seen alive again. The alleged assailant then returned to Letty’s home and kidnapped her 24-year-old son Patrick Cosman, but he was able to fight off the attacker and get away. Letty’s car was then found burning on the side of the road. On April 11, 2023, Letty’s body was found in Renton, Washington, in a ditch not far from where Patrick fought off his attacker.

“Patrick has special needs and needs full-time care. Letty was his caretaker, and his life has been turned upside down.

“The family is raising money to pay for Patrick’s on-going care. Patrick will have extensive physical and mental health needs in the days and months ahead and we cannot do it alone.

“We appreciate the community’s support as we attempt to help Patrick navigate the tough times ahead.” 

Another GoFundMe page has been started by Martinez-Cosman’s brother:

“Imagine going to see your favorite baseball team play a home game but never making it back home. That’s what happened to our sister, Leticia Martinez-Cosman who has been missing since Friday, March 31, 2023. She and her friend met a man named, Brett Michael Gitchel, at Costco just a few days prior and exchanged phone numbers. Leticia is an avid fan of the Seattle Mariners through and through, so then Leticia invited him to see her favorite team play a home game, it was as if they had something in common. As a single mom of a special needs son, Leticia would at times work two jobs to make ends meet. She is the sole caregiver of her son who requires 24/7 care. When she speaks of him it’s easy to understand her devotion to his well-being and her sense of pride in his accomplishments despite his special needs. It was a rare occasion that Leticia would take time for herself.”

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