Human remains found, 1 identified in search for missing Pennsylvania men

From left: Thomas Meo (21) , Jimi Patrick (19), Dean Finocchiaro (19), Mark Sturgis (22) [Credit: CBS]

SOLEBURY TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) — After days of digging on a Bucks County property, authorities have announced that they have recovered human remains in the search for four missing men.

“We have found human remains in an approximately 12-and-a-half-foot deep common grave that we have painstakingly dug,” says Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub, during a midnight press conference. “And I am very, very sad to say that we can now identity Dean Finocchiaro, 19 years old, of Middletown, as one of the people that was found buried in that grave.”

Weintraub did not say how Finocchiaro died. The other remains have not yet been identified.

(Credit: CBS)

Finocchiaro, who has been missing since Friday, is one of four authorities are searching for. The remaining three, 19-year-old Jimi Patrick of Newtown, 21-year-old Tom Meo from Plumstead, and 22-year-old Mark Sturgis from Pennsburg, are all still missing at this time.

Weintraub says additional human remains were found inside the grave at the Solebury Township property owned by the family of a person of interest in the case.

“This pain painstakingly process will go on…this is a homicide; make no mistake about it. We just don’t know how many homicides,” Weintraub said.

The discovery comes as 20-year-old Cosmo DiNardo, a person of interest, is back in custody and being held on $5 million cash bail.

Weintraub said on Wednesday afternoon that DiNardo is back in custody for stealing a car owned by Meo. Weintraub stated that DiNardo also attempted to sell Meo’s 1996 Nissan Maxima for $500 the day after his disappearance.

Meo was last seen July 7 and reported missing July 8.

Weintraub announced that Meo’s vehicle was found on one of the DiNardo properties.

Officials say Meo is known to be a diabetic, and during the search of his car his “diabetic kit” was found. They say that Meo is known to never go anywhere without his kit.

DiNardo is charged with receiving stolen property after police say he tried to sell Meo’s car.

Authorities say they are starting to look at pursuing homicide charges against DiNardo.

In court, the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office said DiNardo has diagnosed history of schizophrenia and is a flight risk.

Police sources tell CBS3 that DiNardo has exhibited violent tendencies.

DiNardo was initially taken into custody Monday on an unrelated gun charge and was released on $1 million bail Tuesday night.

Police sources tell CBS3 that DiNardo has not been cooperating with the investigation.

Weintraub added that the search is intensifying at the Solebury Township property owned by the DiNardo family.

“The search at the scene up the road is intensifying. We are going to find something for sure, no doubt about it,” said Weintraub.

Prosecutors wouldn’t say if DiNardo’s parents, who own the property, were assisting police.

However, Fortunato Perri Jr., the family’s attorney, said the parents are cooperating.

“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,” said Perri Jr.

Family and friends of the missing men have remained inside the search perimeter.

During an earlier press conference, the Bucks County district attorneysaid evidence has been recovered from the property.

“We have recovered several important pieces of evidence at this site and other locations,” said Weintraub.

FBI agents and law enforcement could be seen excavating parts of the DiNardo property in Solebury Township, in an area about a dozen yards from a farm house.

A friend of DiNardo’s who spoke on condition of anonymity claimed that he was never known to be violent.

“I’ll tell you that he was normal up until last year. He was in a quad accident and hit his head and was stranded for a day or so with a brain bleed. He had frontal lobe damage,” the friend said.

“I want to let you know we are going to bring each one of these lost boys home to their families one way or another,” said Weintraub.

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