BUCKS COUNTY, Penn. — Murder charges have been filed against two suspects in the deaths of men found buried on a Pennsylvania farm.
Cosmo DiNardo, 20, an admitted drug dealer with a history of mental illness was charged Friday with the killings of four Pennsylvania men who vanished a week ago. He faces 20 additional counts, including abuse of corpse, conspiracy and robbery, according to court documents. A second 20-year-old suspect, Sean Kratz, was also arrested and faces 20 counts in three of the deaths.
DiNardo, whose family owns the farm, confessed on Thursday and agreed to plead guilty to the four murder counts, attorney Paul Lang said outside court, where DiNardo had met with investigators. DiNardo also told investigators where the bodies are.
Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub said at a press conference Friday that the suspects attempted to dispose of the bodies before burying them.
"There was an attempt to burn the bodies, to obliterate them, but I don't believe that was successful," Weintraub said.
A person with firsthand knowledge of DiNardo's confession told The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity on Thursday that he was a drug dealer who felt cheated or threatened during three drug transactions.
"Every death was related to a purported drug transaction, and at the end of each one there's a killing," the person said.
DiNardo, 20, then burned the bodies - three of them inside a drum - at his family's farm in Solebury Township, about 30 miles north of Philadelphia, the person said, adding that a co-conspirator was involved in the deaths of three of the men.
Cadaver dogs led investigators this week to the spot on the family farm where they discovered human remains inside the 12 1/2-foot-deep grave.
The bodies of Dean Finocchiaro, 19, Tom Meo, 21, Jimi Taro Patrick, 19, and Mark Sturgis, 22, have all bean identified, Weintraub said. Their families have been notified.
Patrick, who was a year behind DiNardo at a Catholic high school for boys, was last seen on July 5, while the other three vanished two days later. Weintraub said as part of his confession agreement, DiNardo told investigators where to find Patrick's body. Kratz is not charged in Patrick's death.
As a law enforcement official escorted a shackled DiNardo from the courthouse on Thursday, he said "I'm sorry."
The person with knowledge of the confession said one of the men was killed July 5 and the other three were killed July 7.
In exchange for DiNardo's cooperation, Lang said, prosecutors would not seek the death penalty. The Bucks County District Attorney's Office had no response to the lawyer's comments on Thursday night. Authorities are expected to release additional information on the case Friday morning.
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