Two cousins charged in gruesome killings of 4 Pennsylvania men

CNN file

CNN file

Lang said that DiNardo told police where the four bodies are located.

Cosmo DiNardo, 20, an admitted drug dealer with a history of mental illness was charged Friday with the killings of four Pennsylvania men who vanished a week ago.

Co-counsel Michael Parlow said DiNardo is cooperating with the investigation.

The district attorney of the county of Bucks, Matthew Weintraub said Thursday that the lifeless body of Dean Finocchiaro could be identified, which was not the case for the other bodies found. Aerial footage shows teams searching under a large tent, and Weintraub has said they are enduring stifling heat as they painstakingly search the property. "And I'm not sure we'll ever know".

"I'm not really sure", Weintraub said when asked to explain the suspects' motives.

The Bucks County District Attorney's office has postponed two press conferences, one scheduled at 11 p.m. Thursday and another 11 a.m Friday pending the confirmation of the information expected to be released. DiNardo picked Kratz, his cousin, beforehand, and they drove to Finocchiaro's residence in Middletown Township.

According to NBC News, the district attorney says "we may never know" why DiNardo and Kratz-both 20-allegedly killed the four men, though all four deaths appear tied to drug deals.

Fire and rescue crews on Thursday were using plywood to help shore up the deep grave as investigators worked inside under intense heat and choking dust.

DiNardo was being held on $5 million cash bail before his confession, accused of stealing and attempting to sell a vehicle belonging to Thomas Meo to a friend for $500. He similarly told detectives Kratz and he agreed to rob Finocchiaro while selling him marijuana.

Dinardo then drove a backhoe that was on the property to where Patrick lay, dug a hole no more than 6 feet deep and buried him, the affidavit states. A second victim's auto was also found less than 3 miles away. DiNardo, who's charged along with his cousin, said he shot another man in the back as he tried to run away. He picked Patrick up and drove him to his family's 90-acre property.

Kratz told police that DiNardo "basically crushed" Meo with the backhoe. He then led authorities to the site of the initial killing. DiNardo said he then used the backhoe to lift the bodies of Meo and Sturgis and place them in the same metal tank where he had placed Finocchiaro's body. He put them in the same metal tank as Finocchiaro and poured gasoline in it and lit it.

"There was an attempt to burn the bodies, to deface them, to obliterate them, but I don't believe that that was successful", Weintraub said.

For five days, dozens of law enforcement officers searched the farmland owned by DiNardo's parents. James Jackman, a 19-year-old who works at Antiques at the Old Church, right next to the farm, said that for this part of Pennsylvania to have a homicide investigation is "definitely out of character".

DiNardo was arrested on 10 July at his home for owning a gun he was not allowed to possess because of his previous involuntary committal to a mental health facility.

Finocchiaro and the three others went missing over several days last week within miles of each other.

DiNardo also had been arrested Monday and held on US$1 million (NZ$1.37 million) bail on an unrelated gun charge before his father paid US$100,000 (NZ$136,500) to bail him out on Tuesday (Wednesday NZT).

According to court documents, Kratz has listed a home address in Ambler, Montgomery County, as well as in Northeast Philadelphia. For that, he was held on a $5 million cash bail. In one, he was charged with burglary, criminal trespassing, theft, receiving stolen property and other charges relating to an alleged December 2016 incident. He was out on bail at the time of the killings.

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