A frantic search for four young men who went missing in Pennsylvania took a tragic turn when cadaver dogs sniffed out one of the victim’s remains. Now, a 20-year-old has confessed to killing all four of the missing victims because he felt cheated after a marijuana deal.
Cosmo DiNardo admitted Thursday to killing the men and burning their bodies at his family farm after selling them marijuana in three separate drug transactions. He claims that all of the victims were shot in the head or the back, adding that he had help from an accomplice in carrying out three of the shootings, the Associated Press reported.
“Every death was related to a purported drug transaction, and at the end of each one there’s a killing,” a source told AP under the condition of anonymity, stating that he was not authorized to speak publicly about the case.
DiNardo then transported the bodies to his family’s farm in Solebury Township, situated about 30 miles north of Philadelphia, with help from a co-conspirator. Another young man from Northeast Philadelphia was taken into custody Thursday in relation to the killings, but it is not yet clear whether he is that co-conspirator, Action News reported.
Following the killings, DiNardo attempted to sell a car belonging to one of the victims for $5,000 and was instead taken into custody and held on $5 million bail. That’s when prosecutors convinced him to cop to the murders in order to avoid the death penalty.
“In exchange for his confession, Mr. DiNardo was promised by the district attorney that he will spare his life,” said defense attorney Paul Lang, who noted that his client would plead guilty to all four slayings.
The investigation into the missing man began with 19-year-old Jimi Taro Patrick’s disappearance on July 5. The other victims included 19-year-old Dean Finocchiaro, whose body was found by cadaver dogs; 22-year-old Mark Sturgis; and 21-year-old Thomas Meo. All three went missing two days after Patrick.
Now, details are beginning to surface of DiNardo’s troubled past. Previously committed to a mental health facility, DiNardo was a known quantity to the local police ever since he was a teenager and was banned from the campus of Arcadia University in Glenside after just one semester.