NEW HOPE, Pa. -- (WPMT) -- Investigators searching a sprawling property in suburban Philadelphia discovered the body of one of four missing men buried in a 12.5-foot-deep grave, Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub said.
At a midnight news conference, Weintraub identified the man as 19-year-old Dean Finocchiaro. Additional human remains were found inside the grave but haven’t been identified, Weintraub said.
“We are not done yet. This is a homicide, make no mistake about it,” Weintraub told reporters. “We just don’t know how many homicides.”
Finocchiaro, who was last seen at about 6:30 p.m. Friday, was one of four young men who mysteriously disappeared over several days last week within miles of each other.
The “all hands on deck” investigation into their whereabouts, including local and state police and the FBI, has centered on a farmland property in Solebury Township owned by Antonio and Sandra Dinardo. In the end, cadaver dogs led authorities to discover the grave Wednesday, Weintraub said.
The son of the property owners, Cosmo Dinardo, 20, was arrested Wednesday and accused of stealing and attempting to sell the vehicle of Thomas Meo, another of the missing men. Bail was set at $5 million after Weintraub argued in court that Dinardo was a flight risk.
Investigators will continue carefully excavating the grave for more evidence and to identify the other human remains.
“We are going to bring each and everyone one of these lost boys home to their families, one way or another,” Weintraub said.
Finocchiaro and three other men between 19 and 22 went missing over several days last week within miles of each other.
The first to vanish was Jimi Patrick of Newtown Township. He was last seen at 6 p.m. on July 5 and was reported missing the next day after he had no contact with friends or family.
Police say the 19-year-old also didn’t show up for work. He was a beer runner at a restaurant-bar in nearby Doylestown, CNN affiliate WPVI-TV reported.
“He was on the shyer side, but you would get a smile out of him, a little conversation,” bartender Jennifer Albrecht told WPVI.
Two days later, Finocchiaro, Mark Sturgis, 22, of Pennsburg and Meo, 21, of Plumstead Township went missing.
Close friends Sturgis and Meo were last seen near the Doylestown area in Bucks County, CNN affiliate KYW-TV reported. Both young men didn’t go to work on Saturday, police said.
Meo’s girlfriend told investigators that she had been texting with him on Friday until just before 7 p.m. After that, she had no contact with Meo, which was “out of the ordinary and not common,” court documents said.
The men’s disappearances have rankled the community, and about 100 residents and reporters gathered at a shopping mall a few miles from the property waiting for updates about them.
“We’ve been monitoring everything on Twitter. We wanted to be supportive and comforting for our community,” said Wyatt McLeod, who lives in Bucks County.
While the search intensified, Dinardo was arrested and accused of stealing and attempting to sell Meo’s 1996 Nissan Maxima.
Data from a police license plate reader captured Dinardo’s pickup and Meo’s car driving in Solebury Township within seconds of each other at about 7:49 p.m. Friday, court documents said.
Meo’s vehicle was found at a separate property owned by the Dinardo family, a day after authorities said Dinardo attempted to sell Meo’s car to a friend for $500, according to a criminal affidavit.
The car was still registered to Meo and had not been legally exchanged. The keys and title to the vehicle were folded up and hanging on a wall inside a garage of the property, the affidavit said.