Cause of death revealed for woman last seen at Mariners game; murder charges pending

SEATTLE — A body found in Renton on Tuesday has been identified as Leticia Martinez-Cosman, who had disappeared after a Mariners game on March 31, the woman’s brother confirmed to KIRO 7 Friday morning.

According to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office, Martinez-Cosman died on April 1. Her cause of death was due to asphyxiation due to strangulation. It was ruled a homicide.

Martinez-Cosman was last seen at the game with 46-year-old Brett Gitchel. King County prosecutors plan to add second-degree murder to the list of crimes Gitchel is already charged with, prosecutor’s office spokesman Casey McNerthney said Friday.

Seattle police said that during their investigation into Martinez-Cosman’s disappearance, they found human remains in Renton Tuesday. Martinez-Cosman’s brother, Ricardo Martinez, told KIRO 7 that Seattle police detectives called him and confirmed that the body was his sister’s.

Martinez said Leticia was a kind and loving person who was full of life. He said he and his family have reflected a lot about the good times they had with her, and while the confirmation that she was dead was not they news they had hoped for, it gives the family closure.

“Yeah, I think it’s starting to hit me right now. But I’m trying to stay focused and get this resolved and then move on with what she had wanted to do,” said Martinez.

Martinez-Cosman’s remains were found a mile and a half away from where Martinez-Cosman’s special needs son was allegedly attacked by Gitchel on Apr. 2. Gitchel has been charged with attempted murder in the attack.

Two hours later, Martinez-Cosman’s vehicle was found abandoned and on fire in Seattle.

Gitchel has multiple protection orders against him in King County, including one from his own mother. She filed the order back in 2017 and claims that her son threatened to kill her on several occasions, even threatening to bash in her head.

Before Martinez-Cosman’s body was found, in addition to being charged with attempted murder in the attack on her son, Gitchel was also charged with kidnapping, unlawful possession of a firearm, theft, and arson.

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