2 men charged with murder in Pennsylvania killings; names released

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Friday, July 14, 2017
Source: 2nd man in custody related to Bucks Co. killings
Source: 2nd man in custody related to Bucks Co. killings. Katherine Scott reports during Action News at Noon on July 14, 2017.

SOLEBURY TWP., Pa. -- Two men have been charged with murder in the killings of four men in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

One of those men is 20-year-old Cosmo DiNardo. His lawyer previously said his client has confessed his involvement to police.

The other man is 20-year-old Sean Kratz of Northeast Philadelphia. He was taken into custody around 2:30 a.m. Friday.

The district attorney has set a 2 p.m. news conference, where more details may be released.

TIMELINE: Murder of 4 men in Bucks County, Pa.


A source tells Action News that a young man from Northeast Philadelphia is in custody in relation to the killings of four Pennsylvania men in Bucks County.

It was not known why the 20-year-old man was taken into custody.

Action News is not disclosing his name at this point because no charges have been filed.

His home in Northeast Philadelphia and another home in Ambler, Montgomery County were being searched Friday.

VIDEO: Homes in NE Philly, Ambler searched in Bucks Co. killings case

NE Philly man in custody, Ambler home search in Bucks Co. killings case. Vernon Odom reports during Action News at Noon on July 14, 2017.

The Action Cam was there overnight as police searched his home in the 800 block of Magee Ave. in Northeast Philadelphia's Lawndale neighborhood.

The man, who lives there with his mother, was taken into custody around 2:30 a.m. Police transported him to Bucks County where he remained Friday afternoon.

Also Friday, police were searching a home and property in the 400 block of Susquehanna Road in Ambler, Montgomery County. The property is believed to be the home of a relative.

This is the 2nd man connected to the case. 20-year-old Cosmo DiNardo of Bensalem has confessed to "participating in or committing" the killings, his attorney said.

A news conference with the Bucks County district attorney is scheduled for 2 p.m.

RELATED: What we know about Cosmo DiNardo

DiNardo's attorney said his client killed the four men after he felt cheated or threatened during three drug transactions, and then burned their bodies at his family's farm, a person with firsthand knowledge of his confession said.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity on Thursday because he was not authorized to publicly discuss details of the case.

"Every death was related to a purported drug transaction, and at the end of each one there's a killing," the person said.

VIDEO: Fmr. FBI agent discusses DiNardo's reported confession

Veteran former FBI agent speaks about confession. Jim Gardner reports during Action News at 11 p.m. on July 13, 2017.

DiNardo then burned the bodies 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.

It was not immediately known if the man taken into custody in Northeast Philadelphia is that co-conspirator.

RELATED: What we know about Cosmo DiNardo

The details were provided after one of Cosmo DiNardo's lawyers said Thursday that DiNardo had confessed to murdering the missing men, who included a Maryland college student, and had told investigators where their bodies were.

DiNardo agreed to plead guilty to four first-degree murder counts, attorney Paul Lang said outside court, where DiNardo had met with investigators.

"I'm sorry," a shackled DiNardo said as he left the courthouse.

VIDEO: DiNardo leaves building after meeting with DA on Thursday

VIDEO: Cosmo DiNardo in police custody. See raw video from the Action Cam from July 13, 2017.

The person with firsthand knowledge of DiNardo's confession said the men were killed after DiNardo felt cheated or threatened during three drug transactions.

DiNardo sold quarter-pound quantities of marijuana for several thousand dollars and sold handguns to area residents, the person said.


Authorities had charged DiNardo earlier this year with having a gun despite an involuntary mental health commitment. In seeking $5 million bail on a stolen car charge this week, prosecutors said he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He also suffered a head injury in an ATV accident about a year ago.

DiNardo's parents declined to comment after leaving a government building where he spent several hours with Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub and other investigators.

TIMELINE: Murder of 4 men in Bucks County

In exchange for DiNardo's cooperation, Lang said, prosecutors were taking the death penalty off the table. There was no immediate comment from prosecutors, but they retweeted news reports of DiNardo's confession.

The mystery of the four men's disappearances transfixed the Philadelphia area over the past week, taking a grisly turn when human remains were discovered in a 12-foot-deep grave on a farm. But what sort of evil befell them, and why, had remained shrouded in secrecy.

VIDEO: Community reacts to news of missing men murders

Community reacts to Bucks Co. missing men murders. Gray Hall reports during Action News at 10pm on July 13, 2017.

The district attorney made it clear Thursday he knew a lot more than he was saying, citing the need to protect the investigation. That only added to the speculation and rumors before DiNardo's confession.

The four men, all residents of Bucks County, disappeared last week. At least three knew each other. The remains of only one, 19-year-old Dean Finocchiaro, have been identified, though authorities said other remains were found in the hole as well.

AP Source: DiNardo killed 4 men separately, burned them. Trish Hartman reports during Action News at 10pm.

The other missing men are Mark Sturgis, 22, and Thomas Meo, 21, who worked together in construction, and Jimi Taro Patrick, 19, a student at Loyola University in Baltimore. Patrick and DiNardo had attended the same Catholic high school for boys.

It was the discovery of Meo's car on a DiNardo family property a half-mile from the farm that led to DiNardo's re-arrest.

VIDEO: Weintraub's midnight news conference on Thursday

Bucks Co. D.A. holds news conference on missing men. Jim Gardner reports during breaking news at midnight on July 13, 2017.

Weintraub said the victims' families were holding up "remarkably well."

"I can't imagine what they're going through," he said. "(It's) terrible."

DiNardo, whose parents own the farm, remained in custody on $5 million cash bail, accused so far only of a gun possession charge and trying to sell one of the victims' cars.

Police were back at the farm Thursday, digging away in the dust and the 90-degree-plus heat and using plywood to shore up the deep, tent-covered trench that they excavated at the spot where Weintraub said dogs smelled "these poor boys 12 feet below the ground."

For days, TV news helicopters trained their cameras on the excavation, creating an unsettling racket but allowing the public to follow the forensic work from their office computers. Viewers could watch investigators haul up buckets of dirt and sift it through handheld screens in what looked like an archaeological dig.

VIDEO: Chopper 6 HD over the investigation site Thursday

Watch video from Chopper 6 HD over the scene in Solebury Township where investigators discovered human remains.

When the prosecutor held a dramatic midnight Wednesday news conference to announce the discovery of remains, Claire Vandenberg, of neighboring New Hope, gathered around a TV with a group of friends to hear developments on what she said is "all we talk about."

"It seemed almost like a horror film or something, just unraveling before our eyes," she said.

DiNardo's father initially bailed him out, but he was jailed again later in the week on the stolen-car charges, and bail was set much higher, after a prosecutor said he was a danger to the community because he had been diagnosed as schizophrenic.

VIDEO: Cosmo DiNardo arrives at Bucks Co. prison

VIDEO: Cosmo DiNardo arrives at Bucks County prison. See raw video from Chopper 6 on July 12, 2017.

Sources tell ABC News that a ping from one of the missing men's cellphones led investigators to the farmland.

Investigators continue to ask the public for tips.

Anyone with information is asked to contact FBI investigators at 1-800-CALL-FBI, or go to tips.fbi.gov.


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