2 charged in killings of missing Pennsylvania men

SOLEBURY TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania -- An admitted drug dealer with a history of mental illness was charged Friday with the killings of four Pennsylvania men who vanished a week ago, and a second suspect was also arrested and charged in three of the deaths.

Cosmo DiNardo, 20, is charged with all four homicides and 20 other counts, including abuse of corpse, conspiracy and robbery, according to court documents. His cousin, Sean Kratz, 20, faces 20 counts, including three of criminal homicide.

DiNardo's lawyer announced Thursday that his client had admitted to the killings and was cooperating with investigators. Kratz was arrested later the same day, authorities said.

A person with firsthand knowledge of DiNardo's confession said he killed the men after he felt cheated or threatened during three drug transactions and then burned their bodies at his family's farm.

RELATED: Timeline of events in murder of four men in Bucks County

The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity on Thursday because he was not authorized to publicly discuss details of the case.

DiNardo has agreed to plead guilty to four first-degree murder counts, attorney Paul Lang said. In exchange for DiNardo's cooperation, Lang said, prosecutors would not seek the death penalty. Lang called his client remorseful. As a law enforcement official escorted a shackled DiNardo from the courthouse on Thursday, he said "I'm sorry."

Cadaver dogs led investigators this week to the spot on the family farm where they discovered human remains inside a 12 1/2-foot-deep common grave.

DiNardo is charged with a number of offenses including four counts each of criminal homicide, conspiracy to commit criminal homicide and abuse of a corpse. He also faces three counts of robbery. Kratz is also facing a list of charges including three counts each of criminal homicide, conspiracy to commit criminal homicide, abuse of a corpse, and robbery.

The following information is posted as it was released by the Bucks County district attorney on Friday afternoon:

DiNardo is accused of killing Jimi Taro Patrick, 19, of Newtown Township, on July 5, and burying him in a single grave on his parents' land.

Dinardo and Kratz are both charged with the July 7 slayings of Dean Finocchiaro, 19, of Middletown Township; Thomas Meo, 21, of Plumstead Township; and Mark Sturgis, 22, of Pennsburg, Montgomery County. Their bodies were found Wednesday in a 12-foot-deep common grave elsewhere on the same property.

All four men had been shot, according to a probable cause affidavit, which said the suspects both gave statements to police on Thursday. Each victim has been positively identified, Weintraub said, and their family members were briefed on details of the case this morning.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Dinardo told investigators that he had agreed to sell Patrick four pounds of marijuana for $8,000. Dinardo said he picked up Patrick at Patrick's home in Newtown on July 5 and drove him to the Dinardo property at 6071 Lower York Road in Solebury, the affidavit says.

When they arrived, Dinardo said, Patrick had only $800, so Dinardo offered to sell him a shotgun for that amount, the affidavit says. They walked to a remote part of the property, where Dinardo said he fatally shot Patrick with a .22 caliber rifle, according to the affidavit.

Dinardo then drove a backhoe that was on the property to where Patrick lay, dug a hole no more than 6 feet deep and buried him, the affidavit states. Based on Dinardo's statement, investigators located Patrick's body in that grave late Thursday.

On July 7, Dinardo told investigators, he agreed to sell a quarter-pound of marijuana to Finocchiaro for about $700, the affidavit states. Dinardo first picked up Kratz, whom he described as his cousin, and drove to Finocchiaro's home in Middletown, agreeing on the way that they would rob him, the affidavit says.

Dinardo said he gave Kratz a .357 handgun belonging to his mother, and then drove all three to the Solebury property. According to the affidavit, he said Kratz shot Finocchiaro in the head as they were leaving a barn on the site. Dinardo told investigators he then took the gun and shot Finocchiaro a second time as the victim lay on the ground.

Also on July 7, Dinardo said he met Meo and Sturgis at a church parking lot in Peddlers Village, a short distance west of the Dinardo property on Route 202 in Lahaska, the court records say. Dinardo told investigators that he had a marijuana "deal" set up with Meo, according to the affidavit.

Meo and Sturgis followed Dinardo to the Solebury property in Meo's Nissan Maxima, Dinardo told investigators, the documents say. After parking the Nissan at 2827 Aquetong Road, Meo and Sturgis rode with Dinardo in his truck to the adjacent Lower York Road property, where Kratz awaited, the affidavit states.

After the men exited the truck, Dinardo said, he shot Meo in the back with the .357 handgun, then fired several times at Sturgis as he fled, felling him, the affidavit states. Dinardo said he then ran over Meo with the backhoe before using it to lift both bodies into a metal tank where he already had placed Finocchiaro's corpse, the court records say..

The following day, Dinardo told police, he and Kratz returned to the property, where Dinardo used the backhoe to dig a deep hole and bury the tank containing the three bodies, the affidavit says.

Kratz gave a similar statement to detectives on Thursday night, the affidavit says, but said that it was Dinardo who shot Finocchiaro, not him. null
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