"I just want to see the person who did this, to get some justice for my sister and my nephew," her brother said.
Trigger Warning: This article describes intimate partner violence, ableism, and assault which some readers may find distressing.
Authorities have determined that the remains found in the Washington woods last week belong to a mom who went missing while on a date after leaving a Seattle Mariners baseball game. Leticia Martinez-Cosman was last spotted at T-Mobile Park in Seattle on March 31. She had also sent a selfie from the Mariners game with her date, Brett Gitchel, to her family, they told PEOPLE.
On April 5, Gitchel, 46, was detained in relation to her disappearance. Gitchell has subsequently been charged with murder, kidnapping, illegal possession of a firearm, theft, and arson, per his jail records. He is currently being held on a $5 million bond.
Leticia Martinez disappeared after a date to a Mariner’s game on March 31 and her body was just found.. The suspect also tried to kill her 24 year old son after her disappearance. This one hurts in ways I can’t explain. Please donate if you can! https://t.co/CG75Of17Bw https://t.co/UlxWeSNo72— tracey 💞 (@lilvietnamami) April 13, 2023
Martinez-Cosman, 58, was determined by the King County Medical Examiner's Office to have passed away from strangulation-related asphyxia. Her death has been classified as a homicide. "I think it's starting to hit me right now," Martinez-Cosman's brother, Ricardo Martinez, told KIRO-TV of his sister's alleged murder. "But I'm trying to stay focused and get this resolved and then move on with what she had wanted to do."
"I just want to see the person who did this, to get some justice for my sister and my nephew," Ricardo said.
Following her disappearance, Gitchel is accused of attacking Martinez-Cosman's special needs adult son, Patrick Cosman, less than two miles from where her remains were discovered. Patrick claimed to have defeated Gitchel and managed to get away. "Brett Gitchel kidnapped her disabled son and attempted to strangle him to unconsciousness," according to charging documents from the King County Prosecuting Attorney obtained by PEOPLE. "Two hours after the kidnapping and assault of her son, Leticia's car was found burned from a fire started with accelerants in the passenger seat."
NEW DEVELOPMENTS: @SeattlePD confirm that they believe Brett Gitchel burglarized a West Seattle home 4 days BEFORE Leticia Martinez-Cosman's disappearance.According to court docs, he was caught on video breaking into a random backyard and then ripping out the home security system pic.twitter.com/Nf7W6SUuvy— Ryan Simms (@RyanTVnews) April 12, 2023
The family has now started a GoFundMe in an effort to raise money for Patrick's ongoing treatment, given that his mom was his sole caregiver. "Patrick has special needs and needs full-time care. Letty was his caretaker, and his life has been turned upside down," the fundraiser description reads. "Patrick will have extensive physical and mental health needs in the days and months ahead and we cannot do it alone."
The family further posted an update, thanking everyone for their kindness, on April 15. "The family is so moved by all of your donations and well wishes. Thank you for being there during this time of need. We will make sure that Patrick receives all of your messages of support," the update read.
Cover Image Source: Seattle Police Department