UPDATE: Cosmo DiNardo has confessed to involvement in four murders. The victims are believed to be the four young men who went missing in Bucks County last week. Read the full story here.
More details have emerged about a person of interest in the disappearance of four men that led authorities to a common grave on rural Pennsylvania farmland.
Cosmo DiNardo, 20, remains in custody after his arrest Wednesday on charges that he stole and tried to sell a 1996 Nissan belonging to one of the missing young men.
Last week, four Bucks County young men went missing between Wednesday and Friday: Dean A. Finocchiaro, 19 (second from right); Mark Sturgis, 22 (far left); Tom Meo, 21; and Jimi Tar Patrick, 19 (far right); of Newtown Township.
On Wednesday, police discovered Finocchiaro’s remains buried 12 feet deep on the vast Solebury Township property owned by DiNardo’s family. In a press conference, Bucks County District Attorney said that additional remains were found on the property but that only Finocchiaro has been positively identified.
DiNardo has not yet been named a suspect but the District Attorney indicated in a Thursday morning press conference that DiNardo may eventually be facing homicide charges.
Police arrested DiNardo first on Monday, on firearms charges that had previously been dismissed, but prosecutors had asked weeks ago for police to refile the charges. Because DiNardo had been involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital, he is legally prohibited from possessing a firearm.
He posted bail on Tuesday and was back in jail less than a day later on the stolen property charges.
A NBC Philadelphia reporter said on Twitter Thursday that DiNardo had been kicked out of Montcopa College for behavioral issues.
— Deanna Durante (@deannadurante) July 13, 2017
Over the weekend, DiNardo reportedly participate in a group text message conversation about the missing Bucks County men, who DiNardo knew.
Two people claiming to have participated in the group message exchange shared the contents of the messages with the Philadelphia Inquirer, on the condition that they not be identified.
One of the message asks DiNardo directly about Dean Finocchiaro.
“Cosmo isn’t your buddy Dean missing ….Aren’t you worried about buddydead [sic] dean.”
DiNardo reportedly replied: I mean I know the kid but yeah I feel bad for his parents. He’s a pill-popping junky who had 2 duis … He prob just jumped parole Or probation.”
Finocchiaro’s attorney confirmed to the newspaper that his client had been arrested on drug and drug paraphernalia charges, and had one DUI arrest, not two. He also had two pending cases: one on charges of drug paraphernalia and another for harassment and assault.
The sources told the newspaper that DiNardo, and perhaps some of the others, used the name Ryan White to refer to Finocchiaro in some of those messages. One of those messages read:
“Tom where the (expletive) you at? Mark where the (expletive) you at ? Dean aka Ryan Smith where the (expletive) you at ?”
It is unclear who sent that message, or why the name Ryan Smith was used.
One of the sources involved in the message chain told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he met DiNardo in a parking lot to buy marijuana last Wednesday and that DiNardo had a male passenger in his truck. He did not know the passenger, but reportedly said the young man resembled the photos he had seen of Finocchiaro, except this man had facial hair.
At that time, the source said DiNardo had urged him to get in the truck several times before the passenger told him to drop it. DiNardo allegedly said he wanted to “talk business” in regards to possible drug dealing.
The newspaper reports that is it not clear if the sources had shared any of this information with investigators.
Feature photo: Bucks County Sheriff Department