According to PEOPLE, the disappearance of Leticia Martinez-Cosman has shifted to a murder investigation, and 46-year-old Brett Gitchel is the prime suspect. The mystery began on March 31st when Martinez-Cosman attended a Seattle Mariners baseball game at T-Mobile Park in Seattle. She was accompanied by Gitchel and snapped a photo of the two enjoying the game. In the picture, Martinez-Cosman smiles as Gitchel playfully sticks his tongue out. Her brother, Ricardo, said his sister had been talking with Gitchel for a few weeks before they agreed to go on a date. The last time the family heard from Martinez-Cosman was after the game when a text message from her phone was sent to her friend Liz Latham, saying she’d met up with an old boyfriend and left Gitchel. It’s unclear if it was really Martinez-Cosman who sent the message.
Latham says Martinez-Cosman was a dedicated mother to a special needs son. Therefore, her going this long without checking on him or speaking with her family is deeply concerning.
“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,” Latham told a local news outlet.
In a shocking twist, police are now investigating Gitchel for trying to kill her son shortly after Martinez-Cosman went missing. On April 2nd, the man showed up at the home where Martinez-Cosman shared with her son and told him his mother had been in an accident. He lured the young man from the house and, after driving for a while, tried to strangle him to death. Miraculously, he was able to escape and call 911. Hours later, Martinez-Cosman’s Honda CR-V was found on fire.
On Thursday, April 6th, police arrested Gitchel on multiple charges related to kidnapping, murder, theft, and assault. He remains in King County Jail. Martinez-Cosman has not been located, and Gitchel has not revealed her whereabouts. He has denied going to the Mariners game, despite wearing a wristband from the stadium at the time of his arrest.