Police arrested a person of interest Wednesday in the mysterious case of four young men who disappeared within days of each other in Pennsylvania, authorities said.
Cosmo DiNardo, 20, was charged with theft and receiving stolen property for trying to sell a car belonging to 21-year-old Tom Meo, one of the missing men, said Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub at a Wednesday afternoon press conference.
DiNardo was being held in lieu of $5 million bail.
He had been arrested on Monday for illegally possessing a shotgun. On Tuesday, police named him a person of interest in the case. He was freed on bail that night.
Prosecutors requested the extremely high new bail because DiNardo is considered “even more of a flight risk at this point,” Weintraub said Wednesday.
DiNardo was arrested for the second time after he tried to sell Meo’s 1996 Nissan Maxima for $500 on July 9, the day after his family reported him missing, Weintraub said.
The vehicle was found on a property owned by the DiNardo family, he said. Inside was Meo’s diabetic medication, which he needed to survive, Weintraub said. The car’s title was still in Meo’s name, the prosecutor said.
Meo, Mark Sturgis, 22, Dean Finocchiaro, 19, and Jimi Tar Patrick, 19, all vanished within days of each other. Patrick disappeared last Wednesday. The others were last seen on Friday.
Investigators suspect foul play.
Sturgis and Meo worked together and Finocchiaro was a mutual friend.
Authorities are searching a 90-acre property owned by the DiNardo family’s concrete and construction company.
That search was “intensifying” Wednesday, Weintraub said. “We are going to find something, for sure. “I have no doubt of that.”
Authorities have not said what prompted them to search the area.
DiNardo’s parents released a statement through their attorney.
"As parents, Mr. and Mrs. DiNardo sympathize with the parents and families of the missing young men and they are cooperating in every way possible with the investigation being conducted by law enforcement," it said.
Weintraub said “several important pieces of evidence” have been discovered during the property search, but did not elaborate.
"This is just really, really rough on everybody involved because of the heat, the magnitude, the scope and the stakes are incredibly high - life and death," he said.