Cops, Courts and Fire

Second Person Eyed In DiNardo Investigation As Detectives Search Crime Scene


Cosmo DiNardo being led to a sheriff’s office van Thursday evening in Doylestown.
Credit: Jason Wood

As Thursday turned into Friday, investigators were working at a fever pitch to learn the latest in the killings of four young men.

Detectives and evidence technicians worked to clear human remains and clues from a 12-foot-deep trench near a cornfield at a Solebury property owned by the family of the man – Cosmo DiNardo, 20, of Bensalem – who admitted to his role in the slayings. A few hundred feet away from the excavation site and through a tree line, detectives focused on the area in and around a barn where sources indicated “something criminal may have happened.”

Flowers and a plush toy at the scene in Solebury Thursday.
Credit: Tom Sofield/LevittownNow.com

Three bodies – including that of Dean Finocchiaro, 19, of Middletown – were found buried in the 12-foot-deep trench. Remains from a fourth missing man were on another portion of the 68-acre property the DiNardo family purchased in the mid-2000s for $5.4 million, sources confirm.

NewtownPANow.com was able to confirm early Friday morning the latest developments and a confession from DiNardo led police to a home in the 800 block of Magee Avenue in Philadelphia. While TV stations reported a Philadelphia resident was an “accomplice” in the case, a source with knowledge of the investigation said detectives from Bucks County were still working to try to find if there was a connection.

DiNardo on Thursday confessed to his “participation or commission in the murders of four young men,” Paul Lang, the Bensalem man’s attorney, told reporters in Doylestown Thursday evening.

Law enforcement sources said Thursday afternoon that DiNardo was expected to confirm the location of remains belonging to Tom Meo, 21, of Plumstead, Mark Sturgis, 22, of Pennsburg, Montgomery County, and Jimi Patrick, 19, of Newtown Township.

Credit: Tom Sofield/LevittownNow.com

Two members of the victims families said through intermediaries that prosecutors were keeping them in the loop and they were aware of Lang’s statements. One added that they were appreciative of the prayers from the community.

The investigation appeared to take a sudden turn Thursday morning, around the same time a secret grand jury was set to meet before Judge Diane Gibbons in Doylestown to discuss the case.

Bucks County District Attorney Weintraub was expected to address media from around the nation Thursday night after cancelling an afternoon press conference. However, the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office announced shortly before 9 p.m. that Weintraub’s next press briefing would be Friday.
The district attorney, according to Lang, agreed not to seek the death penalty against DiNardo if he made a confession.

Lang and Michael Parlow, DiNardo’s attorneys spent much of Thursday at the Justice Center. High-powered Philadelphia attorney Fortunato Perri Jr. and DiNardo’s parents were also spotted entering the building that houses common pleas courts, several county departments and the district attorney’s office.

Credit: Tom Sofield/LevittownNow.com

District Attorney Matt Weintraub spent much of Thursday away from the crime scene and was spotted at the new Bucks County Detective’s offices at 30 East Court Street.

Shortly after 5 p.m., DiNardo – dressed in a prison issued orange jumpsuit and glasses – was led by Bucks County Sheriff’s Office deputies from the office of the detectives to a waiting transport van. He was taken back to county lockup where he is being held on $5 million cash bail on charges related to the possession of a car owned by Meo.

Through week-long reporting and extensive review of social media records, it appears the connection between all four missing men is DiNardo, who was a popular young man with active social media accounts. At least three of the men went to school in Bensalem.

An image of DiNardo’s social media.

The New Hope Free Press, who are news partners with NewtownPANow.com, reported DiNardo posted images of athletic shoes and ammunition. He also posted photos to Facebook from a fishing trip.

An acquaintance of DiNardo shared Instagram posts of the 20-year-old Bensalem man that showed him with what appeared to be scratches to his face. He stated in a comment: “Don’t f**k with me, f**k around get smoked.”

In other posts, DiNardo was firing a rifle at a gun range and also posing for photos similar to those commonly seen on other social media pages of young people.

An image from Cosmo DiNardo’s Snapchat.

Snapchat screenshots that appear to show DiNaro holding a revolver with a laser attached. In both snaps, he is pointing the gun at the lens of the camera.

DiNardo was diagnosed with schizophrenia and was previously involuntarily committed, according to officials and court papers.

A search of Pennsylvania adult criminal records does not show DiNardo with anything on his record until he was charged earlier this year with possessing a 20-gauge shotgun in his neighborhood on Wayland Circle in Bensalem, which is where he lives with his wealthy parents. Police said they knew he had suffered from mental illness and was allegedly not to possess a firearm. The charges in the case were dismissed in May and refiled Monday so police could hold DiNardo as they investigated his role in the disappearances.

A police official said detectives were looking into any connection between DiNardo and a serious assault at Temple University but did not have any firm information to connect the two crimes. On social media, however, rumors of a possible link swirled. It appeared that a man involved in the Philadelphia case knew DiNardo on social media.

The district attorney after a press conference Thursday morning.
Credit: Tom Sofield/LevittownNow.com

DiNardo, according to statements made in court, worked part-time with his father. First Assistant District Attorney Gregg Shore, however, did question that claim during Wednesday’s arraignment for DiNardo.

The 20 year old also attended college, but was not in school as of the recent spring semester.

The majority of the crime scene evidence collection work at the 68-acre Solebury property was expected to be finished by Friday evening.

Reporters Erich Martin and Amanda Burg contributed to this article.

 


About the author

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for five years for both newspaper and online publications. In 2012, Tom was honored at the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Foundation’s Keystone Press Awards for his coverage of President Obama’s visit to Falls Township in 2011. When he’s not covering news in the area, Tom enjoys checking out the newest restaurants and bars, exploring forgotten places of industry in the area, going to local parks and spending time with his friends and family. If there’s one thing you should know about Tom, he is a local news junkie through and through. Email: tom@newtownpanow.com Phone: 215-431-1001