Two men charged in homicides of 4 missing Pennsylvania men
Cosmo Dinardo, 20, was charged with four counts each of criminal homicide, conspiracy and abuse of a corpse, as well as with robbery and a weapons charge, documents show. Sean Kratz, 20, was charged with three counts each of criminal homicide, conspiracy, robbery and abuse of a corpse, as well as a weapons charge, documents show.
The charges relate to the killings of Jimi Patrick, 19; Thomas Meo, 21; Mark Sturgis, 22; and Dean Finocchiaro, 19, who went missing within miles of each other in Bucks County.
According to a probably cause affidavit, the suspects both gave statements saying the four men had been shot.
Dinardo told investigators that he picked up Patrick at Patrick’s home on July 5 — after agreeing to sell him four pounds of marijuana for $8,000 — and then drove to the family property. The affidavit adds that Patrick had only $800 so Dinardo offered to sell him a shotgun before shooting the 19-year-old with a .22 caliber rifle.
Patrick’s body, which was found late Thursday, was buried in a hole no more than six feet deep by a backhoe used by Dinardo, the affidavit says.
On July 7, Dinardo picked up Kratz, described as a cousin and then drove to Finocchiaro’s home. Prior to taking the three back to the family property, the two suspects agreed to rob Finocchiaro, the affidavit states. The sworn statement adds that Kratz shot the second 19-year-old in the head as they were exiting a barn. Dinardo then shot Finocchiaro when he was laying on the ground, according to the affidavit.
That same day, a marijuana “deal” was set up by Dinardo with Meo — Sturgis came along. The affidavit says the three met up at a church parking lot in Peddlers Village before heading back to the property. Meo and Sturgis followed Dinardo in Meo’s Nissan Maxima to Aquetong Road, the affidavit adds. The two men then exited Meo’s vehicle and completed the ride in a truck to the adjacent Lower York Road property with Dinardo, where Kratz was waiting.
Dinardo told investigators, in the affidavit, he shot Meo and Sturgis as they exited the truck. Meo was struck in the back with a .357 handgun and Sturgis was fired at several times after trying to flee. Court records add that Dinardo ran over Meo with the backhoe before using it to lift the both bodies into a metal tank where Finocchiaro’s corpse was.
According to the affidavit, Dinardo and Kratz returned to the property the next day and buried the tank containing the three bodies.
The two suspects’ statements were similar, the affidavit says, but Kratz said Dinardo shot Finocchiaro, not him.
Timeline of disappearances
The first to vanish was 19-year-old Jimi Patrick of Newtown Township. He was last seen at 6 p.m. on July 5. He was reported missing the next day after he had no contact with friends or family.
Police say the Loyola University Maryland student didn’t show up for work as a beer runner at a restaurant-bar in nearby Doylestown, CNN affiliate WPVI-TV said.
“He was on the shyer side, but you would get a smile out of him, a little conversation,” bartender Jennifer Albrecht told WPVI.
Patrick graduated from Holy Ghost Preparatory School in 2016, where Dinardo was a 2015 graduate, school spokesman Bill Doherty said.
Two days later after Patrick disappeared, Finocchiaro went missing along with Mark Sturgis, 22, of Pennsburg, and Thomas Meo, 21, of Plumstead Township.
Close friends Sturgis and Meo were last seen near the Doylestown area, CNN affiliate KYW-TV reported. Both young men did not go to work on Saturday, police said.
Meo’s girlfriend told investigators that she had been texting with him on Friday until just before 7 p.m. After that, she had no contact with Meo, which was “out of the ordinary and not common,” court documents said.
The multi-agency investigation into centered on a farmland property in Solebury Township owned by Antonio and Sandra Dinardo. The Dinardo family owns a cement and construction company called Cosan LLC.
While the search intensified, Dinardo was arrested Tuesday for allegedly trying to sell Meo’s 1996 Nissan Maxima the day after Meo was reported missing.
Data from a police license plate reader captured Dinardo’s pickup and Meo’s car driving in Solebury Township within seconds of each other at 7:49 p.m. Friday, court documents said.
Meo’s vehicle was found at a separate property owned by the Dinardo family, a day after authorities said Dinardo attempted to sell Meo’s car to a friend for $500, according to a criminal affidavit.
The car was still registered to Meo and had not been legally exchanged. The keys and title to the vehicle were folded up and hanging on a wall inside a garage on the property, the affidavit said.
Meo is a diabetic, yet his life-saving diabetic kit was still in the vehicle, Weintraub said.
Dinardo had been arrested Monday on an unrelated charge of firearm possession stemming from a February offense, Weintraub said. He was prohibited from possessing a firearm because he had a mental illness and had been involuntarily committed to a mental institution for inpatient care, court documents said.
A judge dismissed the charge in May, but the Bucks County district attorney’s office authorized police to reinstate and refile charges last month.
Dinardo was released Tuesday evening after his father paid 10% of his $1 million bail in cash. By, Wednesday Dinardo was arrested again for one count each of theft and receiving stolen property. He is being held on $5 million bail.
Earlier in the week, the family issued a statement through another attorney, Fortunato Perri Jr.
“As parents, Mr. and Mrs. Dinardo sympathize with the parents and families of the missing young men and they are cooperating in every way possible with the investigation being conducted by law enforcement,” the statement said.
For five days, dozens of law enforcement officers searched the farmland owned by Dinardo’s parents. Large makeshift tents were set up across the property as investigative teams dug for evidence using large machinery. Cadaver dogs led authorities to discover the grave on the property Wednesday, Weintraub said.
Earlier Thursday, the district attorney said he was encouraged by the pace of the investigation he called “massive” in scope.
Susan Mangano and her teenage daughters said this quiet community has not seen anything like this before.
“We live here, we pass by, we saw the helicopters,” Mangano said. “As a parent, it’s been sickening to watch this. I have kids this age. It’s just devastating.”