Brett Gitchel is a Seattle man arrested in connection to the disappearance of 58-year-old Leticia Martinez-Cosman, who went missing after a date at a Mariners game at T-Mobile Park on March 31, 2023, according to police and public records.
The 46-year-old Gitchel was booked into the King County Jail on April 6, 2023, on suspicion of homicide, kidnapping, assault and theft, according to online records.
Police said at a press conference that Martinez-Cosman’s car has been found but she has not been located and investigators are still seeking the public’s help in finding her. Officials did not say exactly when and where Gitchel was arrested.
Here’s what you need to know about Brett Michael Gitchel and the disappearance of Leticia Martinez-Cosman:
1. Leticia Martinez-Cosman’s Son Says a Man Woke Him Up the Night His Mother Vanished
Sources close to Leticia Martinez-Cosman’s family told Fox News that her adult son, Patrick, who is in his 20s and has autism, was woken up early in the morning of April 1, 2023, hours after his mother went to the Seattle Mariners game against the Cleveland Guardians, by a strange man. He was “lured and attacked in a bizarre series of events,” according to Fox News.
Martinez-Cosman’s son told his family the man said his mother had been hurt in a fall and he would take him to see her at the hospital, according to Fox News. The source told FOx News, “They drove around, made a couple stops. Finally he made this excuse to go to the backseat – and that’s when he put a bag over his head and tried to choke him.”
The family source told Fox News that Martinez-Cosman’s son was able to fight off the man by biting his horn and honking the car’s horn “to wake up the neighbors,” and the called 911. He was able to escape from the captor, Fox News reports.
Martinez-Cosman was pictured with a man at the Mariners game in a photo released by police. But at a press conference announcing the arrest of Gitchel, police would not confirm if he is the man seen in the photo at the game.
Officer Shawn Weismiller, a Seattle Police spokesman, said a press conference, “The detectives are following up on that. We are not ready to confirm he is in fact the same individual. There will be more information to follow as soon as we can provide it. … This is an open investigation and the details regarding the investigation are going to come out as soon as we have them available.”
Weismiller added, “There’s a lot of details we’re not ready to confirm at this moment.”
2. Brett Michael Gitchel Is Being Held Without Bail
Brett Michael Gitchel is being held at the King County Jail without bond, according to online records viewed by Heavy. He was arrested on April 5, 2023, and booked into jail on April 6 just after 7 a.m., online records show.
It was not immediately clear if Gitchel has hired an attorney who could speak on his behalf. Prosecutors have not commented about the ongoing investigation. According to online records, a court date has not been set and is listed as pending.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Seattle Police Department’s Violent Crimes Tip Line at 206-233-5000, police said in a press release. When asked why police suspect murder, Weismiller said at the press conference, “I’m not going to go into the specific details in how the detectives and the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office came to that conclusion, but I can say that based on their investigations, based on the evidence, they have deemed that they have probable cause to arrest that suspect.”
Weismiller added, “If anybody has any information regarding this case or the whereabouts of Ms. Martine-Cosman please call the SPD Violent Crimes Tip Line. Again, it’s 206-233-5000.”
3. Brett Gitchel Has 7 Previous Felony & 9 Gross Misdemeanor Convictions, Including on Theft & Assault Charges, According to Public Records
According to police and online court records, Brett Gitchel has a lengthy criminal history, including seven previous felony convictions and nine gross misdemeanor convictions. His most recent arrest was in 2013.
Gitchel was previously convicted in 1998 on a felony drug charge, two counts of felony theft in 1993 and a felony charge of vehicle prowl in 1992, court records show. He was convicted of misdemeanor charges of drawing with a suspended license, making a false statement to a public servent, DUI, domestic violence assault, theft and malicious mischief, according to court records.
Police are investigating whether there is a connection to a surveillance video showing a man prowling in a yard in the Genesee Hill neighborhood of Seattle. The video, recorded March 28, 2023, was posted by the West Seattle Blog.
The man is wearing a Seattle Mariners jacket and looks similar to the man seen in the photo with Martinez-Cosman at the Mariners game. His appearance is also similar to mugshots and social media photos of Gitchel, but police have not confirmed if it is Gitchel in the surveillance video.
According to a police report obtained by the West Seattle Blog, “Near the 54th and Genesee neighborhood. On 03/28/2023, at approximately midnight, unknown W/M entered the back yard and then hastily exited upon seeing security cameras. Unknown suspect returned at 0058 hrs. and attempted to gain access to the residence via the back door. Door was locked, entry was not obtained. Suspect then disabled the security cameras and cut the Comcast cable wires. Suspect was able to gain entry to a yard shed and steal an Echo backpack blower and an outdoor clock. Police report filed. # 23-84087.”
4. Brett Gitchel Lives in Ellensburg, Washington & Is Originally From Renton, Washington, According to His Facebook
According to his Facebook profile, Brett Gitchel lives in Ellensburg, Washington, and is originally from Renton, Washington. Gitchel’s Twitter profile also shows that he is an Ellensburg resident.
Gitchel wrote in his Facebook intro, “Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come.”
5. Gitchel Said on His Facebook Page He Works as a Bus Driver for a Nonprofit
According to his Facebook page, Gitchel has worked as a bus driver for a nonprofit in Kittias County.
An old Facebook page shows that Gitchel studied at Central Washington University in Ellensburg. On that Facebook page, Gitchel shared a meme saying, “Life is not about the people who act true to your face. It’s about the people who remain true behind your back.”
In January 2023, Gitchel was sued by his landlord in a tenant dispute case in Kittias County, according to court records.