This post examines the disappearances of 4 young men from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, all within the same 2-day period.
Victims & Timeline
Jimi Tar Patrick, 19 : July 5, 2017
Mark Sturgis, 22: July 7, 2017
Tom Meo, 21: July 7, 2017
Dean Finocchiaro, 18: July 7, 2017
Patrick was reported missing when he did not show up for work on July 5th, which was considered “extremely unusual” for him. He also did not contact any friends or family in the ensuing days. Sturgis was last seen around 6pm on July 7th leaving his home to head to his friend, Meo’s, house. Neither man has been seen since. Sturgis and Meo were longtime friends and both worked for Sturgis’ father in construction. Meo’s 2004 Nissan Altima was located at Peddler’s Village, 6 miles east of where the men were last seen, the following day. Meo’s car was found in the garage at a home in Solebury. Finocchiaro was last seen around 6:30pm on July 7th, entering a vehicle on Hampton Drive.
Other details we know: Meo was a diabetic. Finocchiaro was a motorcycle enthusiast. Finocchiaro was an acquaintance of Meo and Sturgis. All 4 men knew each other in some capacity. Local and state police as well as the FBI are involved in the search for them. Authorities are not saying whether or not they believe the men are still alive.
Proposed Offender Profile
- Caucasian male, late teens to late 20s
- Personally knew all 4 men (friend, acquaintance, coworker, etc)
- Used a gun to gain compliance
- Developed a ruse to lure the men to an unsafe place where they were likely murdered
- Possible history of petty crimes
- Possible history of violence, aggression, or impulse control problems
- Possible history of alcohol/substance abuse
- Likely history of academic/workplace problems
- Single or recently ended a relationship. Prior intimate relationships were likely explosive and erratic or offender did not have substantial prior intimate relationships.
- Possibility of multiple offenders given that it might be difficult to control 2 grown men at the same time.
Update 1 (July 10, 2017)
On July 10, 2017, Cosmo DiNardo, aged 20, was arrested on a charge of gun violation. Law enforcement has referred to him as a “person of interest” in the disappearances of the 4 young men from Bucks County. DiNardo is being held on $1 million bail and authorities are not labeling him a suspect at this time.
DiNardo was arrested for possession of a shotgun and ammunition despite having a history of mental health issues which included an involuntary commitment. DiNardo was arrested at a family home in Bensalem; it is unclear if he lived at that home. The home was one of several properties searched in recent days, which also included a vast farm on Upper Mountain Road. Authorities continue to search the farm, presumably in an effort to locate the 4 missing men or information leading to their whereabouts. Authorities are now publicly stating that they believe foul play was involved but are not stating what led them to this conclusion or how DiNardo may be related to the 4 missing men.
Update 2 (July 13, 2017)
The body of one of the missing men has been found, along with “multiple other bodies,” on the expansive 90-acre farm belonging to DiNardo’s parents, Antonio and Sandra DiNardo. The bodies, including that of Finocchiaro, were found in a 12.5-foot grave on the property. It has also come to light in recent days that DiNardo attended Holy Ghost Preparatory School in Bensalem with Patrick and that neighbors heard gunshots coming from the DiNardo property over the weekend when the men went missing.
DiNardo was released on July 11, 2017 on the firearm charges after his parents posted a $100,000 cashier’s check (10% of the $1 million bail set). He was re-arrested on July 12, 2017 on car theft charges for allegedly trying to sell Meo’s 1996 Nissan Maxima for $500. DiNardo is being held on $5 million cash bail. Meo’s car was found on the DiNardo property with Meo’s diabetic kit still in the vehicle. DiNardo reportedly has a history of schizophrenia and there are conflicting reports about whether his prior hospitalization was voluntary or mandated.
A friend of Meo has stated that DiNardo was known locally for selling guns and marijuana and had bragged to others in the past about having someone murdered over a debt owed. In addition, a Flickr account reportedly belonging to DiNardo has 187 photos of shoes, including Nike and Air Jordans, posted on it. Some of the photos include bullets propped near the shoes and a handwritten sign with DiNardo’s name and the date written on the paper.
I have worked with many people with schizophrenia over the years. Only one that I ever worked with had a history of violence: he stabbed a stranger while hallucinating because he believed the stranger was a demon. He went running off into the night — to nowhere in particular — before being arrested and involuntarily hospitalized. That bout of aggression was spontaneous and unplanned. It was also highly disorganized.
People with schizophrenia are actually more at risk for bringing harm to themselves (whether through neglect of their basic needs, suicide, inciting others to lash out physically against them, or by engaging in dangerous behaviors such as leaving the stove on or jumping from a second-story window). Estimates have placed the incidence of violence amongst people with schizophrenia at anywhere from 10-23%. There is conflicting data on whether people with schizophrenia are any more violent, on average, than the general population. However, the data is clear that when people with schizophrenia are violent, it is almost exclusively attributable to their delusions and hallucinations, during an episode of psychosis.
The fact that DiNardo has not been involuntarily hospitalized since his arrest indicates to me that he is not presenting as floridly psychotic. While he may indeed have a history of schizophrenia, these crimes appear more organized than I would expect from someone who is psychotic — luring, controlling, murdering, and burying four grown men requires a certain amount of cognitive coherence, or help from someone more organized.
It should also be noted that schizophrenia is not the only mental disorder that features delusions and hallucinations. There are a number of other disorders, including personality disorders (schizotypal, paranoid, schizoid), which feature similar symptoms to schizophrenia. If DiNardo was accurately diagnosed with schizophrenia, I’m guessing it was not his only diagnosis. Someone who plots to abduct, murder, and bury at least 4 grown men — and then sell their belongings — has some kind of comorbid personality dysfunction that is the primary cause of this behavior. This might be antisocial, narcissistic, or borderline features. It stands to be mentioned that most people with a personality disorder qualify for at least one more or exhibit strong traits of another personality disorder. It would stand to reason that DiNardo could have a Cluster A personality disorder such as schizotypal in addition to a Cluster B disorder such as antisocial and/or narcisstic.
Antonia and Sandra DiNardo purchased 68 acres of farmland in Bucks County, PA in 2005 for $5.4 million. A little under a year later, they purchased an adjacent track of land and then purchased 2 additional acres in 2008 for a total of 90 acres. The primary home on the expansive property, in which the DiNardo family lives, is worth an estimated $500,000. According to The DailyMail, “the family began to amass its vast commercial and residential real estate holdings thanks to Cosmo DiNardo’s eponymous late grandfather, who also began to buy up real estate in the 1970s. Among the family holdings are properties in Philadelphia, including a multi-unit apartment building and another building leased to a behavioral non-profit organization. He also purchased the home in Bensalem where his grandson was twice arrested this week.”
Cosmo DiNardo’s grandfather purchased commercial properties in Bucks and Montgomery Counties, including a section of storefronts purchased for $67,500 in 1979 and sold at a steep profit for $425,000 some 25 years later. Antonio DiNardo joined his father’s real estate business. Together, Antonio and his father purchased a residential property in 1989 for $50,000 and sold it 2 years later, after flipping it, for $210,000. Antonio went on to purchase 4 more properties in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Update 3 (July 15, 2017)
Cosmo DiNardo agreed to make a full confession in exchange for prosecutors agreeing to not pursue the death penalty. In his confession, DiNardo implicated his cousin, Sean Kratz, 20, as an accomplice. DiNardo confessed to killing all 4 missing men and burning, then burying, their bodies on the property he lived at with his parents. DiNardo told investigators that planned to supply Patrick with 4lbs of marijuana and a shotgun in exchange for $8,000. When DiNardo met Patrick on July 5th to complete the exchange, Patrick only had $800 on him. Enraged and feeling cheated, DiNardo shot Patrick with his mother’s gun and buried him on the family’s farm, a great distance from where the 3 other young men would be later found.
DiNardo then conspired with Kratz to rob Finocchiaro after making plans to sell Finocchiaro 1/4lb of marijuana for $700. Upon meeting up with Finocchiaro, Kratz shot him and DiNardo shot at his body after he was dead. They then wrapped his body in a blue tarp taken from a corn crib and transferred his body to a pig roaster on the DiNardo farm where they attempted to burn his body before tossing it into a makeshift grave. The pig roaster DiNardo used was a metal tank that had been converted for the purposes of cooking slaughtered pigs; although DiNardo doused the bodies in gasoline, they failed to ignite and incinerate the way he had planned.
DiNardo then struck another deal with Meo and Sturgis, agreeing to meet them that same day behind a church. The men were to travel together to DiNardo’s property where he planned to rob them with the help of Kratz. Once at the farm, DiNardo shot Meo one time and Meo screamed. Sturgis began to flee and DiNardo shot at him until he had exhausted all of his ammunition. DiNardo then ran over Meo, who may have still been alive at the time, using a backhoe because he had no ammunition left. Kratz stated that DiNardo “basically crushed” Meo with the gigantic farming machine.
Using that same backhoe, DiNardo and Krantz dug a 12.5-foot grave the following day and put the bodies of Meo, Sturgis, and Finocchiaro in it, after unsuccessfully attempting to cremate them first in the pig roaster. DiNardo and Krantz are both being held with no bail and have been charged with murder, conspiracy, and abuse of a corpse. They are currently awaiting trial.
DiNardo has a long history of disruptive behavior — he was banned from Arcadia University (which he attended for the fall semester of 2015 before dropping out) in 2016 due to formal complaints filed against him for “verbal interactions with members of the university community.” His parents were issued a letter stating that if he attempted to return to the campus, he would be charged with trespassing. DiNardo has had upwards of 30 interactions with law enforcement in the past 6 years. While most of these interactions did not result in arrest, locals often expressed they were concerned about DiNardo’s behavior — which appeared to escalate following a severe head injury from an ATV accident 7 months ago. When asked why he killed the 4 men, DiNardo responded that he felt either threatened or cheated when he tried to sell them marijuana. DiNardo has been described by others as a “paranoid dealer” who often felt cheated by buyers he sold drugs to. DiNardo later told investigators that he has killed previous to this most recent spree, although investigators are doubtful of his claims. This lends itself more to the narcissistic/antisocial profile I believe DiNardo exhibits, more so than a schizophrenic one.
Offender Profile Revisited
√ Caucasian male, late teens to late 20s
√ Personally knew all 4 men (friend, acquaintance, coworker, etc)
√ Used a gun to gain compliance
√ Developed a ruse to lure the men to an unsafe place where they were likely murdered
√ Possible history of petty crimes
√ Possible history of violence, aggression, or impulse control problems
? — unknown to date: Possible history of alcohol/substance abuse
√ Likely history of academic/workplace problems
? — unknown to date: Single or recently ended a relationship. Prior intimate relationships were likely explosive and erratic or offender did not have substantial prior intimate relationships.
√ Possibility of multiple offenders given that it might be difficult to control 2 grown men at the same time.