Mark Sturgis, one the four missing Bucks County men, worked in a family construction business and was described as hard-working and having a sweet demeanor.
Tragically, authorities announced at an unusual midnight press conference that they found a grave on a rural farm owned by the parents of person of interest Cosmo DiNardo. Inside the grave: Human remains they’ve identified as one of the missing men, Dean Finocchiaro.
However, the local district attorney said it’s believed that there are other bodies in the grave that authorities are still working to identify. On July 13, DiNardo’s lawyer said that DiNardo had confessed to participating or committing the murders and had told police where the bodies were to avoid the death penalty. You can watch video of DiNardo saying he is sorry here.
According to The Associated Press, DiNardo allegedly confessed that he killed the men “separately after selling them marijuana and then burned their bodies at his family’s farm.” The AP added that there was an unnamed co-conspirator involved in three of the killings.
The missing Bucks County men had provoked a massive search effort.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Sturgis Was Last Seen Getting Into a Vehicle on July 7 & His Mother Calls What Happened Next an ‘Act of Pure Evil’
The first of the men to vanish was Jimi Patrick, who didn’t show up for work and is believed to have gone missing on Wednesday, July 5.
Compounding the mystery, some of the men disappeared separately. All of the missing men are between the ages of 19 and 22. ABC News is reporting “that a ping from one of the missing men’s cellphones led investigators to the farmland.”
The other three men, including Sturgis, disappeared two days later, on Friday, July 7. Sturgis’ mother, Rosanne Potash, wrote on Facebook, “Please help locate my son Mark Sturgis. Missing since Friday night. Mark’s 6’1 180ibs. Black hair, beard and brown eyes.” Tom Meo and Finocchiaro also vanished the same day.
Sturgis, 22, and Meo, 21, were last seen together in Bucks County, CNN reported.
Finocchiaro was last seen getting into the car of a man who is not missing on July 7, reports the Bucks County Times. Sturgis and Meo were close friends, and they knew Finocchiaro. Police found Sturgis’ car “in the area of Peddler’s Village, less than 2 miles from the DiNardos’ Aquetong Road property,” reported MCall.
Potash also wrote about how moved the family was by the way the community has rallied behind the parents of the missing men.
“I just wanted to let everyone know from the bottom of our hearts how touched we are by all of the love and prayers and kind words during this nightmare,” she wrote. “To see every ones continued support is truly a blessing during this horrific time.This will forever change so many peoples lives. Not just the the familys involved but everyones. We all have people that we love and cherish and want to protect from harms way. Especially our children. This was the act of pure Evil.All we can do is continue to pray for our loved ones and hope that these boys are found. Hopefully the system will not fail and we get justice for our boys and their family’s!!!!”
2. Cadaver Dogs Found Human Remains in a Deep ‘Common Grave’
The search for Sturgis and the other men led police to deploy cadaver dogs to scour a large rural farm property owned by the parents of DiNardo.
The dogs led police to a 12 and a half foot deep common grave from which they unearthed the remains of Finocchiaro and others. They have not yet detailed how they believe the young man died.
District Attorney Matthew D. Weintraub revealed in a rare midnight press conference that the remains found might also include three other bodies, although only Finocchiaro was ID’d. “This is a homicide, make no mistake about it,” Weintraub said. “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.”
He pledged, “We’re going to bring each one of these lost boys home to their families.”
The human remains were found on the property of Antonio and Sandra DiNardo, the parents of Cosmo DiNardo, who’s 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.
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.”
3. Sturgis Worked for His Father’s Construction Business
Sturgis worked for the family business. According to Philly.com, his father owns a construction firm.
Tom Meo sometimes helped Mark with landscaping and both were regarded as hard workers.
His mother posted a photo of one of their landscaping jobs to show how hard they had worked.
4. Sturgis Was Described as ‘Intelligent’ & a Guitar Player
Mark Potash told Philly.com that his son, Mark Sturgis, was “a great guitar player and athlete, super intelligent, and a good worker, brother, and son.”
A friend of Sturgis wrote on his mother’s Facebook page, “Mark was a friend of mine, the sweetest guy i ever met. I will never forget him, ever. Im so sick to my stomach.i cant imagine how you are all feeling but stay as strong as possible. They need justice.”
5. Authorities Are Trying to Piece Together How the Missing Men Knew DiNardo
Authorities are still trying to connect the dots as to how the four men knew DiNardo. They don’t appear to have been close friends with him. One of them, Patrick, went to school with DiNardo and was his Facebook friend.
Meo and Sturgis were close friends.
According to Philly.com, Meo and Sturgis “reportedly first met DiNardo when DiNardo was looking to sell marijuana.” DiNardo had a previous mental health commitment and diagnosis of schizophrenia.
Sturgis’ most recent public Facebook post was from 2016 and read, “Can i develop a reward system for my self that doesn’t involve intoxication? Important question. Simple answer. F*ck nawhl.” In 2011, he wrote, “Anger makes me forget pain, Fear makes me forget anger, But pot makes me forget…stuff.”
Sturgis mother wrote on Facebook, “I hope to God Cosmo or anyone for that matter didn’t hurt these kids!!! let’s hope for a safe return for all four boys. This is a sick world we live in!!! It’s sick and makes my skin crawl to think they’re horrible evil people out there that can harm another.”