This Thursday, a Pennsylvania man pleaded guilty to four counts of murder, providing answers to an investigation into the disappearances of four men.
According to attorney Paul Lang, 20-year-old Cosmo DiNardo confessed to the commission or participation in four murders while meeting with investigators outside court. He also revealed to them where the bodies are.
In exchange for his cooperation, prosecutors are taking the death penalty off the table.
“I’m sorry,” said DiNardo as he left the courthouse.
Before his confession, DiNardo, the son of the farm property’s owners, was held on $5 million cash bail. He was arrested on Monday and held on $1 million bail on an unrelated gun charge, accused of possessing a shotgun and ammunition in February despite a prior involuntary commitment to a mental health institution. He also was accused of trying to sell one of the victim’s cars. His father paid $100,000 to bail him out the following day.
DiNardo suffers from schizophrenia, say law enforcement officials. They have not yet released a motive for a crime.
Nonetheless, a source with first-hand knowledge of DiNardo’s confession, speaking on anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss details of the case, stated that DiNardo killed each of the men separately after selling them marijuana and then burned their bodies at his family’s farm. A co-conspirator was involved in three of the killings, said the source.
Over the past week, the disappearances of four men – Jimi Tar Patrick, Dean Finocchiaro, Tom Meo and Mark Sturgis – have plagued the Philadelphia area, following the discovery of human remains in a 12 1/2 –foot-deep grave on a farm.
The four men, all residents of Bucks County, disappeared last week. Mark Sturgis, 22, and Thomas Meo, 21, worked together in construction, while Jimi Taro Patrick, 19, was a student at Loyola University in Baltimore. Patrick and DiNardo had attended the same Catholic high school for boys.
“This was an act of pure evil. All we can do is continue to pray for our loved ones,” posted Sturgis’ mother on Facebook.
Though other remains were found in the grave, only the remains of 19-year-old Dean Finocchiaro have been identified.
Citing the need to protect the investigation, the prosecutor has declined to reveal certain information, only adding to speculation and rumors.
“It’s been very unnerving. It’s very spooky,” said Laura Hefty, who lives a few miles from the gravesite in Solebury Township.
Many people “feel incredibly sad. Some people are pretty angry, too,” she continued. “How did it get this bad?”
Following DiNardo’s confession on Thursday, police returned to the farm. In the 90-degree-plus heat, they used plywood to excavate the spot where dogs could “smell these poor boys 12 ½ feet below the ground,” according to District Attorney Matthew Weintraub.
DiNardo’s parents, Antonio and Sandra DiNardo, own the farm in upper Bucks County, as well as a concrete company in Bensalem. Investigators subpoenaed them earlier on Thursday to testify before a grand jury.
According to an attorney representing them, the couple sympathizes with the families of the missing men and is cooperating “in every way possible with the investigation.”