A week after four young men disappeared in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and one day after investigators found human remains buried on a nearby farm, the son of the farm's owners confessed to killing all four, his lawyer said on Thursday. Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub said he could not identify the other remains at this time, while issuing a fresh appeal for more help from the public.
The other victims were 19-year-old Dean Finocchiaro, 22-year-old Mark Sturgis and 21-year-old Tom Meo. In seeking $5 million bail on a stolen auto charge related to the missing men this week, prosecutors said DiNardo had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He then burned their bodies ― three of them inside a drum ― at his family's farm in Solebury Township, said the person, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the case. And Dean Finocchiaro, 18, of Middletown Township, Bucks County, was also last seen alive Friday.
"I'm not sure I could if we could ever answer that question", he said at a news conference Friday afternoon. It's believed that DiNardo and Kratz used construction equipment from his father's business to dig a hole on the 90-acre property.
Patrick's body "was so far away [from the others on the farm] that I started to get sick to my stomach on the ride", he said.
Residents expressed surprise at the mystery unfolding around them, something highly unusual in this area.
The remains of at least one of the men were found after an extensive search on a massive property belonging to DiNardo's parents. 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. Patrick's body was discovered on a separate part of the property. Local media reports say that Dinardo and Patrick attended the same preparatory school in Bensalem, Pa., while Dinardo and Finocchiaro had both posted on a Facebook page for buying and selling all-terrain vehicles.
DiNardo told investigators that when they arrived, Patrick only had $800. Eric Beitz, a friend of one of the missing men, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that DiNardo was "aggressively" seeking new customers to sell marijuana and guns to and that some of the men first met DiNardo while he was trying to sell them weed.
It is still unclear why DiNardo killed the men, but the source said DiNardo had "felt cheated or threatened during three drug transactions".
The Bucks County District Attorney's Office had no response to the lawyer's comments Thursday night.
In the February gun charge he still faces, DiNardo is accused of illegally being in possession of a shotgun and ammunition because of a previous involuntary commitment to a mental health institution.
On Friday, even with Dinardo in custody, the extent and conditions of his apparent plea deal remained unknown, and he had not been charged in connection with the killings.
The police authorities then ordered the research on all the properties of the torque, in order to find clues that may lead to the four men that it was now no news since five days.
Dinardo told investigators that Meo and Sturgis followed him to the Solebury property in Meo's Nissan Maxima, the documents say.
According to court documents, DiNardo told detectives he had agreed to sell Patrick 4 pounds of marijuana for $8,000.