Two Arrested For Murders of Four Missing Pennsylvania Men
On Thursday night, the main person of interest in the investigation into the four men who disappeared in Pennsylvania last week confessed that he killed all of them. Cosmo DiNardo, 20, admitted to the murders in exchange for the district attorney’s agreement to not pursue a death sentence, one of his lawyers said.
The confession came one day after investigators found human remains in a “common grave” on DiNardo’s parents’ property, which the police had spent days searching. The remains were identified as belonging to Dean Finocchiaro, 19. Thanks to cadaver dogs, the grave could be found despite being 12.5 feet deep. The bodies of the remaining men were later identified in the same grave.
Early Friday morning, a second man was arrested, 20-year-old Sean Kratz. Both men face charges of criminal homicide, conspiracy to commit criminal homicide, abuse of a corpse, and robbery.
Video of defense attorney Paul Lang’s statement that Cosmo DiNardo confessed to his involvement with the murder of four Bucks County men. pic.twitter.com/3mcdXPfSx0
— James Boyle (@jamesboylejr) July 13, 2017
The Killer Knew the Victims
Police suspected early on that all the men knew each other. Jimi Patrick, 19, was the first to disappear, and was last seen on July 5. He reportedly graduated from the same small high school as DiNardo did, just one year later. Finocchiaro was last seen on the evening of July 7, as was Thomas Meo, 21, and Mark Sturgis, 22. Meo and Sturgis were longtime friends who both worked for Sturgis’ father.
Finocchiaro and DiNardo were both members of a Facebook group for people buying and selling terrain vehicles, and text messages in a group chat showed that they knew each other. A friend of Meo and Sturgis, Eric Beitz, said that DiNardo had been hanging out with them recently and that he talked about “weird things like killing people and having people killed.” Apparently DiNardo also sold guns. Sturgis’ father said he had heard his son and Meo mention Finocchiaro in the past.
History of Mental Illness
Cosmo DiNardo was well known to law enforcement and had had 30 contacts with law enforcement in just six years. He suffers from mental illness and spent time at a mental institution last summer where he was involuntarily committed. It is unknown for what specifically, but a prosecutor described him as schizophrenic.
On Monday, Dinardo was arrested for an unrelated charge of possessing a firearm despite suffering from a mental illness. The incident involving the firearm reportedly happened in February, but the district attorney authorized police to refile the charges last month. His father then paid 10 percent of his $1 million bail.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 14, 2017
Police early on focused on DiNardo as a person of interest in the case of the missing men, after a signal from Finocchiaro’s cellphone was traced to DiNardo’s family farm. On Wednesday, DiNardo was arrested for trying to sell Meo’s car for $500 to a friend, who called the police.
The car was found on another property owned by the DiNardos, but was still officially registered to Meo. Meo’s diabetic kit was still in the car, which according to family members, he didn’t go anywhere without. After that, DiNardo’s bail was set at $5 million. On Wednesday, cadaver dogs led police to the grave.
DiNardo told investigators he promised to sell the men marijuana, but then he decided to kill them and keep their money. He shot and killed Patrick on July 5, and used a backhoe to dig a hole in which to bury the body.
On July 7, DiNardo and Kratz met with Finocchiaro, also involving marijuana sales. Kratz shot Finocchario, and DiNardo placed him in a metal tank.
Later that same day, DiNardo shot Sturgis and Meo and placed them in the same tank as Finocchiaro. The next day, DiNardo and Kratz dug a deep hole using the backhoe and buried the whole tank. There are sure to be more details to come as investigators continue their search and press the men.