A plastic surgeon in Florida has been charged with murdering a lawyer who was representing his ex-colleagues.
The lawyer, Steven Cozzi, had been missing since last Tuesday, when he disappeared at the law firm where he worked.
His body has not been found, but investigators have blood, video and other evidence linking Dr Tomasz Kosowski to the lawyer’s disappearance and presumed death, prosecutors allege.
Kosowski, who is known as “Dr K”, was arrested on a first-degree murder charge on Saturday. He has pleaded not guilty.
Police said Cozzi’s wallet, phone and keys were found in his law office along with a significant amount of blood in the bathroom.
Security video showed someone driving Kosowski’s truck outside the law firm where Cozzi worked on the day he disappeared, it is claimed.
The person driving the truck went inside wearing a backpack and gloves and carrying a large box, prosecutors said.
Almost two hours later, it appeared the same man left wearing different clothes and pulling a large cart containing something in a bag or covered by a blanket.
He struggled with its weight as he pulled it near the truck, according to prosecutors.
The truck was recorded by a licence plate reader near the doctor’s home about half an hour after it left the law office.
The video showed what appeared to be a body covered by a bag or blanket in the truck bed, prosecutors said.
They added that [olice searching Kosowski’s home and vehicles found blood and a bag carrying brass knuckles, a stun gun, syringes containing a paralysing agent and other sedatives, duct tape and masks.
Cozzi was representing Kosowski’s former employer and co-workers in a long-running lawsuit.
Kosowski filed a lawsuit against his former colleagues at the Laufer Institute of Plastic Surgery four years ago.
He claimed the woman that Laufer Institute assigned to do his insurance billing did not file claims and lied to his patients, costing him tens of thousands of dollars and resulting in negative reviews of him online.
He left Laufer Institute in 2018 and had set up his own practice. Laufer Institute did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Associated Press.