Human remains found on Pa. farm; one of 4 missing men identified

Human remains have been found on a Pennsylvania farm that was at the center of a search for four missing men — including a Loyola University Maryland student, authorities said late Wednesday night.

Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub said they could identify one of the men, 19-year-old Dean Finocchiaro, from the remains found in a common grave that was 12 and a half feet deep. No other identifications from additional remains in the grave have been made.

The other missing men were 21-year-old Tom Meo, 22-year-old Mark Sturgis and 19-year-old Jimi Tar Patrick, the student at Loyola.

Weintraub said the case was now a homicide, but he could not say the cause of death.

A 20-year-old linked to the farm was arrested earlier Wednesday on charges he tried to sell the car of one of the men, authorities said.

The car contained the diabetic kit of Meo, a prosecutor said. Meo and two others were last seen in suburban Philadelphia on Friday. Patrick vanished two days earlier.

Cosmo DiNardo, described as a person of interest, was taken back into custody Wednesday on a stolen vehicle charge, and a judge ordered him held on $5 million cash bail. His father had posted 10 percent of the $1 million bail set when the son was arrested Monday on an old gun charge. His parents, Antonio and Sandra DiNardo, own the sprawling farm the FBI and police cadets have been searching for four days.

As authorities spent the day scouring the farm, the Loyola community held a prayer service.

About 50 students, faculty and staff gathered Wednesday in Loyola’s chapel to pray for the four young men and their families. Patrick is a rising sophomore at the Baltimore-based Jesuit institution.

Director of Campus Ministry Sean Bray said the group wanted to honor the request of Patrick’s grandmother: to “storm heaven with our prayers for Jimi's safe return.”

The Rev. Brian Linnane, the university president, said Patrick finished his freshman year “with distinction.” He was a dean’s list student who had no conduct violations, Linnane said.

“He had a very successful year, and he is poised for a great success at Loyola,” he said. “We want to be with him and his family and hope for the best.”

While the campus was quiet, with most of the about 4,000 undergraduates home for summer break, Bray said he knows the entire community was “joining in our prayers from their homes, offices and internships.”

According to an affidavit, police interviewed a man who said Cosmo DiNardo tried to sell him an old Nissan, the type belonging to Meo, on Saturday, one day after Meo went missing. Police found the car Sunday on the DiNardo farm, with the keys and title hanging in a garage.

An attorney for DiNardo's parents issued a statement Wednesday saying the couple sympathize with the families of the missing men and are cooperating “in every way possible with the investigation.”

At least some of the men are friends, but it's unclear how well they knew DiNardo, if at all. Online records suggest he was a year ahead of Patrick at a Catholic high school for boys in Bensalem.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Copyright © 2017, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
36°