Killing on the Farm: Pennsylvania Cousins Accused in Deaths of 4 Young Men
Four Pennsylvania Men Vanish, Sparking Intensive Search
On July 5, four young men — 19-year-olds Dean Finocchiaro and Jimi Tar Patrick, 21-year-old Tom Meo, and Mark Sturgis, 22 — were reported missing, leading to a sweeping search by investigators in Pennsylvania's Buck County.
Patrick was last seen on July 5, while Meo, Sturgis, and Finocchiaro all disappeared on July 7.
Sturgis and Meo are longtime friends who work in construction for Sturgis' father. Finocchiaro is a mutual friend of theirs, according to detectives.
The families of all four men began holding a constant vigil last week outside the farm owned by the family of Cosmo DiNardo; Patrick and DiNardo were connected through Facebook, but the extent of their acquaintance remains unclear.
A 'Person of Interest' Identified
On July 10, investigators arrested Cosmo DiNardo, 20, on an illegal gun charge. He was identified as a “person of interest” in the missing persons case and his bail was set at $1 million. The following evening, his parents posted 10-percent of that amount to secure his freedom.
But DiNardo was re-arrested July 12 on a car theft charge. Subsequently, investigators unearthed a mass grave at the farmland his family owns. Prosecutors asked that his bail be set at $5 million cash on the car theft charge, even though he hadn't yet been charged in connection with the grave.
DiNardo suffers from schizophrenia and sustained frontal lobe damage in an ATV accident within the past year, police have said. DiNardo was allegedly stranded in the woods for a day after the crash and suffered a severe brain bleed.
Police Continue Search of DiNardo Farm
Investigators spent days at the sprawling farm that belongs to DiNardo's family, searching for any sign of the four missing men. Detectives were initially led to the property after pinging one of the missing men's cell phones.
In time, authorities would uncover a 12-foot deep grave containing the bodies of Finocchiaro, Meo, and Sturgis.
Police interviewed DiNardo all of Wednesday evening. They would not get an alleged confession until the following day, when DiNardo allegedly offered to lead detectives to a separate grave containing Patrick's remains.
All four victims had been shot.
DiNardo Tells Reporters 'I'm Sorry'
Soon after he confessed to killing the four men, DiNardo was led from the Bucks County Prosecutor's Office and into a waiting van, which shuttled him back to a correctional facility, where he remains today.
Dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit, DiNardo was escorted past a cluster of awaiting journalists, who asked him questions.
DiNardo answered only one of the questions: What he would say to the grieving families of his victims? He answered, "I'm sorry."
Jimi Taro Patrick: A Dean's List Student
According to a statement from his grandparents, Jimi Taro Patrick lived in Newtown, Pennsylvania, with his grandparents.
He had recently completed his freshman year at Loyola, where he was majoring in business on a full scholarship, and his grades earned him a spot on the Dean's List.
Relatives say Patrick regularly attended Mass on Sundays, and note he was well-behaved.
Monsignor Michael Pickard of Saint Andrew Catholic Church in Newtown remembered Jimi as a "very, very shy and very polite and just a well-behaved young man."
Mark Sturgis: 'Super Intelligent' and Kindhearted
Sturgis, who lived in Pennsburg, worked for his father, Mark Potash, who told Philly.com his boy was "super intelligent" and a great guitar player and athlete.
He had three sisters and a brother.
His mother, Rosanne Potash, shared several photos of her son on Facebook, describing him as "happy," "kindhearted," and "sweet."
Dean Finnocchiaro: 'He Never Failed to Make Everyone Laugh'
Dean Finnocchiaro was remembered by his brother, Johnny, for his wit and good nature.
"He never failed to make everyone laugh. I'll never forget how happy grandmom got when he'd stop over and sit and talk with her for hours. She's probably so happy he's with her now," Johnny Finnocchiaro wrote on Facebook.
Dean worked in an ice cream shop, were co-workers said they were shocked to learn of his death.
"He had a smile that would just hug you," one of them told NBC in Philadelphia. "He was real warm, very friendly, would do anything for anybody, a great teammate to work with."
Thomas Meo: 'I Knew He Had My Heart'
The girlfriend of one of Thomas Meo took to Facebook on Friday to post an emotional goodbye to the slain man.
Loralynn Ingreso wrote that the 21-year-old was one of the most amazing individuals she had ever met.
"Tom. My sweet, precious Tom. I am overwhelmed with all that has happened over the course of the past few days. Whatever I write here will not and cannot do his beautiful soul any justice," she began.
She recalled meeting him in 2015. "From that night I knew he had my heart, which was terrifying, but one of the best feelings in the world," she wrote.
Cousins Charged With Murder, But One Denies Killing
On Friday, prosecutors in Pennsylvania filed homicide charges against DiNardo and his 20-year-old cousin, Sean Kratz.
DiNardo allegedly told investigators he agreed to sell Patrick four pounds of marijuana for $8,000 on July 5. He drove to Patrick’s home, picked him up, and drove him to the DiNardo farm.
When they arrived, DiNardo said Patrick only had $800, so he offered to sell him a shotgun before taking him to a remote area of the farm and fatally shooting him with a .22 caliber rifle.
DiNardo told investigators he agreed to sell a quarter-pound of marijuana to Finocchiaro for about $700 on July 7. Instead, DiNardo and Kratz allegedly drove to Finocchiaro’s home to rob him.
DiNardo said he gave Kratz a .357 handgun before driving all three to the DiNardo farm, where Kratz allegedly shot Finocchiaro in the head. Kratz has denied that claim
That same day, DiNardo told detectives he met Meo and Sturgis at a church parking lot in Peddlers Village. DiNardo told investigators that he had a marijuana deal set up with Meo. DiNardo allegedly shot Meo in the back with a .357 handgun, then fired several times at Sturgis as he ran.
Sturgis dropped to the ground as a bullet struck him. The affidavit alleges DiNardo confessed he then ran over Meo with a backhoe before using it to lift both bodies into a metal oil tank, where he had already placed Finocchiaro’s body and set the barrel on fire.