SEATTLE — New details were released Friday regarding the disappearance of a Seattle woman following a Mariners game last Friday, including an attack on her son days after she went missing.
Early Thursday, police arrested Brett Michael Gitchel after 58-year-old Leticia Martinez-Cosman was last seen on a date with a man at the game on Friday night. Court documents have now confirmed that man was Gitchel.
Days after Martinez-Cosman vanished, her son -- who has special needs and is in his 20s -- said he was attacked by a man he didn’t know.
In an interview with detectives, her son recounted being awoken by the sound of a man knocking on his bedroom door on April 2. He was not able to articulate whether that man was Gitchel but described his attacker as being in his 30s or 40s with facial hair and glasses.
The man told her son that his mother had been in an accident and that he was going to take him to see her at the hospital. Her son then got in a car with him and “drove around for what seemed like hours,” court documents say.
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 said 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.
Hours later, Martinez-Cosman’s car was found fully engulfed in flames by the Seattle Fire Department, and it appeared as though it was set intentionally.
In an interview with police two days later, Gitchel 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.
Police believe he could be linked to a jewelry theft at at a Seattle Costco on April 4 as well. The next day, police tracked him to a Shoreline Costco, where he was arrested.
In court on Friday, prosecutors argued that hours after the Mariners game on Friday, Gitchel’s phone was tracked to a remote, mountainous area in King County hours after he was last seen with Martinez-Cosman.
Gitchel has several previous convictions on his record dating back years, including a 1998 felony drug charge, two counts of felony theft in 1993 and a felony charge of vehicle prowl in 1992.
He was also convicted on misdemeanor charges of driving with a suspended license, making a false statement to a public servant, DUI, domestic violence assault, theft and malicious mischief.
In total, he has seven previous felony convictions and nine misdemeanors.
In this case, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office found probable cause for kidnapping, assault, theft, attempted murder, and unlawful possession of a firearm. Martinez-Cosman remains missing.
Gitchel did not appear in court and bail was not addressed during the hearing on Friday. He remains in jail while awaiting a charging decision from the county prosecutor.
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