Human remains of missing man found in grave in Pennsylvania - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Human remains of missing man found in grave in Pennsylvania

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(NBC ) -- Human remains have been found at a Solebury Township, Pennsylvania farm during the search for four missing young men in Bucks County. 

One set of remains was identified as 19-year-old Dean Finocchiaro, of Middletown Township. Police have not yet identified the other remains and they have not determined a cause of death. 

Officials say they discovered the remains inside a 12 and a half foot grave at a 90-acre farm along Lower York Road in Solebury Township, about 30 miles north of Philadelphia.

"This is a homicide," Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub announced shortly after midnight. "We just don't know how many."

Finocchiaro, along with Mark Sturgis, 22, of Pennsburg, Montgomery County; Tom Meo, 21, of Plumstead Township; and 19-year-old Jimi Tar Patrick, of Newtown Township all vanished last week. Police have not yet confirmed whether the other bodies they discovered are that of the three other missing men.


Cosmo DiNardo, 20, was named a person of interest in the disappearance of the young men and his family owns the farm where the remains were found. He was arrested Wednesday after investigators determined he tried to sell Meo's 1996 Nissan Maxima to a friend after his disappearance. He has not been charged however in Finocchiaro's death

DiNardo was also arrested Monday on an unrelated weapons charge but left the Bucks County jail Tuesday night after his father, Antonio DiNardo, posted 10 percent of $1 million bail.

A family lawyer released a statement Wednesday on behalf of DiNardo's parents.

"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 lawyer wrote.

High-powered attorney Fortunato Perri Jr., who has represented several local celebrities, including Philadelphia hip hop artist Beanie Sigel, was also hired to represent DiNardo in court.

According to an affidavit obtained by NBC, DiNardo was accused of possessing a 20-gauge shotgun and ammunition in February despite being barred from owning a firearm due to a history of mental illness that included an involuntary commitment. A district judge dismissed the charge in May, but the district attorney authorized for it to be refiled on Monday.

DiNardo and the missing men all appeared to know one another, prosecutors said.

According to Sturgis' father, Mark Potash, Sturgis and Meo are longtime friends who work in construction for him. Finocchiaro was a mutual friend of theirs, Potash said. Investigators began looking at DiNardo after they received tips indicating he was seen with the men shortly before they went missing.

Patrick went missing on Wednesday, July 5. He has not contacted family or friends or shown up for work, police said. Finocchiaro was last seen alive Friday around 6:30 p.m. getting into a vehicle on Hampton Drive.

According to a newly obtained criminal complaint, Meo's mother reported him missing Saturday. Meo's girlfriend said she last texted him Friday at 6:53 p.m. and didn't hear from him after.

Sturgis, who was last seen leaving his home on Walt Road in Pennsburg, around 6 p.m. Friday, told his father he was going to meet with Meo in Doylestown.

On Sunday at 2:10 a.m., Sturgis' vehicle was found in the area of Peddler's Village in Buckingham Township, about two miles away from a DiNardo family home on Aquetong Road.

Less than two hours later, Meo's car was discovered at the DiNardo home. Detectives say they found Meo's car keys hanging up on the wall of the garage. They also found Meo's diabetic supplies inside the vehicle.

On Sunday at 4:30 p.m., Bucks County detectives interviewed DiNardo's friend whose identity police are withholding. The friend told police DiNardo had called him Saturday at 5 p.m. The two then met on Bristol and Galloway roads in Bensalem where DiNardo allegedly offered to sell Meo's Nissan Maxima to him for $500, the criminal complaint reads.

Police also interviewed DiNardo Sunday. DiNardo allegedly told detectives he was driving a silver Ford pickup truck Friday night.

A Solebury Township police mobile license plate reader data found DiNardo's Ford pickup truck was on 2541 Street Road in Solebury Township Friday at 7:49 p.m. Within a few seconds, the license plate reader also captured Meo's vehicle at the same location.

The location where both vehicles were captured is within two miles away of the DiNardo home and less than one mile away from where Sturgis' vehicle was found.

Based on the information, investigators say they had probable cause that DiNardo did "unlawfully take and retain control" of Meo's vehicle.

Law enforcement members scoured the DiNardo family's Solebury Township farm for several days.  Investigators also used heavy equipment to dig on the property and deployed canines to search for clues.

Susan Coleman, a woman who lives near the farm says she heard gunshots from around the property on Saturday — hours after Meo and others were last seen.

"We heard a series of blasts, they were loud," Coleman said.

Coleman said she was sitting outside with her husband when she heard the gunfire but at first didn't think much of it since people go hunting in the area. But, she decided to talk to investigators after hearing what sounded like more gunshots then yelling and commotion.

Family members kept vigil Wednesday though some relatives of one of the victims were seen fighting amongst each other in the early evening.

About 50 students, faculty and staff also gathered at a chapel at Loyola University in Maryland where Patrick was a rising sophomore to pray for him and the three other men. Director of Campus Ministry Sean Bray told the Baltimore Sun the group wanted to honor the request of Patrick's grandmother to "storm heaven with our prayers for Jimi's safe return."

Officials continue to work to identify the other human remains that were found Wednesday night. The investigation is ongoing.

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