Sean Kratz was named as the second person of interest in the slayings of four missing Bucks County, Pennsylvania men, in an increasingly bizarre case that has shocked the community.
The four men, Jimi Patrick, Mark Sturgis, Dean Finocchiaro, and Tom Meo vanished on different days from July 5-7 in Bucks County. They were all between the ages of 19 and 22, and their disappearances galvanized the community and ignited a massive search effort.
Cosmo DiNardo, 20, another Bucks County man from Bensalem, Pennsylvania, confessed to participating or committing all four slayings, his lawyer told the Pennsylvania news media. That led to the immediate question as authorities continued the grim task of identifying remains unearthed in a common grave: If he might have just participated, according to his lawyer, was someone else involved?
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Took the Second Person of Interest Into Custody
The first bombshell, and very tragic, development occurred when the District Attorney of Bucks County convened an unusual midnight news conference. In it, he revealed that authorities had found the 12.5 foot deep common grave on a rural farm that belongs to DiNardo’s parents. The DA, Matthew Weintraub, also announced that authorities had ID’d Dean Finocchiaro, one of the missing men, through the recovered remains.
The DA said then that it was believed that other bodies were in the grave, but they hadn’t been identified yet. Cadaver dogs led police to the grave.
Then, on July 13, Cosmo DiNardo’s lawyer told the media that DiNardo confessed to avoid the death penalty. DiNardo himself mumbled that he was “sorry” as waiting reporters shouted questions. However, the way the defense attorney worded things raised some eyebrows. He said that DiNardo confessed to “participation or commission” in the slayings, according to Philly.com.
The developments were still coming. According to Fox News, “The Associated Press, citing a person with firsthand knowledge of his confession, reported the DiNardo had a co-conspirator.”
2. The Alleged Co-Conspirator Was Arrested in Philadelphia & Was Being Held for Questioning
One reporter tweeted that he was outside a Philadelphia house where a possible co-conspirator was taken into custody late on July 13.
Reporter Dave Kinchen, of Fox29, reported on Twitter, “BREAKING: I’m live in NE Philly where a second person of interest has been taken into custody in connection to the #missing4 deaths.”
Fox News reported, “A second person of interest was taken into custody late Thursday in the investigation into the gruesome murders of four men on a secluded farm in Pennsylvania.”
According to Fox29, in the early morning hours of July 14, “The person of interest is currently at Northeast Detectives being held for Bucks County authorities to pick up and question. So far, no charges have been filed.”
News spread quickly about the second arrest.
“Police took another person into custody late Thursday night in the 800 block of Magee Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia,” Philly.com reported. The newspaper added that Bucks County detectives were trying to determine whether that man was a co-conspirator.
3. DiNardo Is Accused of Confessing That He Killed the Men Separately & Burned Their Bodies
The grisly details are horrifying. According to The Associated Press, in his confession, DiNardo allegedly revealed that he killed each man separately and then burned the bodies.
“Mr. DiNardo this evening confessed to the district attorney to his participation or commission in the murders of the four young men,” his lawyer, Paul Lang, told reporters. “In exchange for that confession, Mr. DiNardo was promised by the district attorney that he will spare his life by not invoking the death penalty.”
Lang said “I can’t answer that” when reported queried whether DiNardo acted alone or had a co-conspirator.
Philly.com reported that DiNardo confessed that three of the victims were in the common grave, and the other was somewhere on his family’s property.
The Philadelphia newspaper reported, through a source, that, in his confession, DiNardo said he had a co-conspirator. At least three of the men were shot, reported The AP.
The District Attorney previously revealed, “This is a homicide, make no mistake about it. We have found human remains. In an approximately 12 and a half foot deep common grave that we have painstakingly dug with a lot of care so as not to damage any potential evidence. I’m very, very sad to say that we can now identify Dean Finocchiaro, 19-years-old…as one of the people who was found buried in that grave.”
In the press conference, the DA also revealed: “There are additional human remains inside that grave. So this painstaking process will go on.”
4. The Motive Was Allegedly Drug Transactions & the Second Person of Interest Has a Criminal History & Was Recently Involved in a Shooting
FOX 29’s Dave Scratwieser reported that the second person of interest “has a criminal record, including two drug arrests in Bensalem. Schratwieser also reports that person of interest was the victim of a shooting back in March.”
What led to the homicides? Despite the bizarre and horrific saga, it may end up being the most banal of motives: Drugs.
The Associated Press is reporting that “DiNardo sold quarter-pound quantities of marijuana for several thousand dollars and that the victims were killed after DiNardo 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 AP quoted an anonymous source. Authorities have not yet confirmed this account.
DiNardo had an exceptionally troubled past; Diagnosed as schizophrenic, he was previously committed to a mental institution. Friends alleged he talked about killing people, liked guns, was known to police, and was unstable. He’d also suffered a recent head injury that some felt worsened his condition.
DiNardo was already under arrest and accused of charges that he tried to sell the car of Meo, one of the missing men. DiNardo was previously accused of a firearms offense, but he was released on $100,000 bail. His bail in the more recent case was set at $5 million. Police had said previously that they were searching multiple locations for the missing Bucks County men. Then came news that the remains were found.
The break in the case came when a man identified only as KBM told police that on July 8, he “received a call from DiNardo offering to sell him Meo’s car for $500.”
5. The Four Missing Men Were Described in Positive Terms by Families & Friends
Jimi Taro Patrick was a former youth athlete who was attending Loyola University in Baltimore on a full scholarship.
Mark Sturgis and his friend, Tom Meo, worked for Sturgis’ family construction business doing landscaping. Sturgis was remembered for his sweet demeanor.
Dean Finocchiaro was friends with at least two of the men.
This post will be updated as more information is learned about the second person of interest.