New charge for person of interest as search "intensifies" for four missing Pa. men

Last Updated Jul 12, 2017 5:14 PM EDT

SOLEBURY TWP., PA. -- A man who police are calling a person of interest in the disappearance of four Pennsylvania men is back in custody, this time accused of trying to sell a car belonging to one of the missing men, Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub announced Wednesday.

The missing men, 22-year-old Mark Sturgis, 21-year-old Tom Meo, 19-year-old Dean Finocchiaro and 19-year-old Jimi Tar Patrick, vanished within days of each other last week. Patrick disappeared last Wednesday; the other three vanished Friday. Sturgis and Meo worked together, while Finocchiaro was a mutual friend.

They are believed to be victims of foul play.

Weintraub has described 20-year-old Cosmo DiNardo as a person of interest in the case. DiNardo was arrested Monday on an unrelated charge that had earlier been dismissed, accused of possessing a shotgun despite a previous mental health commitment. He bonded out of jail on the gun charge, but has since been re-arrested on stolen property charges related to DeMeo's car, according to Weintraub.

DiNardo's family, in the concrete and construction business, owns a 90-acre Solebury Township property where an extensive search that's been ongoing for days was "intensifying" Wednesday, Weintraub said.  Weintraub has not said what led authorities to search the farm plot.

"We are going to find something, for sure," Weintraub said Wednesday. "I have no doubt of that."

Police have recovered "important" evidence but no human remains as they methodically search the property, about 30 miles north of Philadelphia, Weintraub said.

"We have recovered several important pieces of evidence at this site, and at other locations," Weintraub said Wednesday as the search resumed for a fourth day. "This is just really, really rough on everybody involved because of the heat, the magnitude, the scope -- and the stakes are incredibly high, life and death."

In the latest development in the case, Weintraub said that DiNardo was taken back into custody Wednesday on a charge of receiving stolen property. Weintraub said DiNardo attempted to sell Meo's 1996 Nissan Maxima to an unidentified friend for $500 on July 9, the day after Meo's family reported him missing.

The car was found on one of the DiNardo family's properties, Weintraub said, with Meo's medication for diabetes inside. He said he was told by Meo's family that Meo is diabetic and never goes anywhere without the kit.


Cosmom DiNardo

CBS Philly

Weintraub said it was his understanding Meo could not survive without the medication.

Weintraub said the car was still registered to Meo when investigators located it.

DiNardo's social media posts suggest an avid interest in hunting, fishing and Air Jordan sneakers, which he appeared to sell online. He had enrolled in a nearby college at one point as a commuter student, with hopes of studying abroad in Italy, according to an article on the college website. He had a few other brushes with the law since turning 18 over traffic violations and other minor infractions.

Weintraub sought the high bail for DiNardo on the gun charge because he now considers him a flight risk. The father, Antonio DiNardo, posted $100,000 Tuesday to bring his son home -- 10 percent of the $1 million bail.

Weintraub said he considered DiNardo "even more of a flight risk" now. DiNardo was arraigned Wednesday on the stolen property charge and ordered held on $5 million cash bail, reports CBS Philly.

In court, the Bucks County District Attorney's Office said DiNardo has a diagnosed history of schizophrenia.

Neither DiNardo's parents nor his lawyer have commented this week.