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Cousins formally charged in slayings of 4 Pennsylvania men

Laura McCrystal, Jeremy Roebuck and Justine McDaniel, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in News & Features

PHILADELPHIA -- Cosmo DiNardo, the Bucks County man who confessed to the slayings of four missing men and burying them on his family estate, was charged Friday -- along with his cousin as an accomplice -- with counts of conspiracy, homicide and abuse of a corpse as investigators in the rapidly moving probe shifted focus to Northeast Philadelphia and an address in Montgomery County.

Detectives arrived in force to search a house on Susquehanna Avenue in Ambler that DiNardo's purported co-conspirator -- Sean Kratz, 20, of Philadelphia -- had listed as his address. Their arrival came just hours after authorities took Kratz into custody at a Northeast Philadelphia home late Thursday night.

Though Kratz was charged alongside DiNardo with three of the killings, according to court filings, authorities have offered no indication so far of how he is tied to the case -- nor have they confirmed a statement from DiNardo's lawyer Thursday that his client had confessed to the killings.

The Bucks County District Attorney's Office said in a tweet Friday morning that officials would offer details at a 2 p.m. briefing on the "Solebury slayings."

A source familiar with the case told the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News late Thursday that it was DiNardo who led investigators to Kratz and the bodies of the four young men who have been missing since earlier this month. In exchange for the confession, DiNardo's lawyer Paul Lang told reporters, prosecutors promised not to seek the death penalty against his client. Asked Friday about the charges filed in the case, Lang declined to comment.

Both are expected to be arraigned later Friday afternoon in a court hearing that could shed new light on a case that has gripped the Philadelphia region and much of the country since the massive search for the missing men began Sunday and eventually zeroed in on the DiNardo family's bucolic Solebury Township estate.


Late Wednesday, Weintraub said investigators had found remains of Dean R. Finocchiaro, 19, of Middletown, who disappeared July 7, in a common, 12 1/2- foot grave on the DiNardo's property. A source familiar with DiNardo's confession said that the bodies of Thomas C. Meo, 21, of Plumstead; Mark R. Sturgis, 22, of Pennsburg; and Jimi Taro Patrick, 19, of Newtown, also buried on the property.

When he was taken into custody, Kratz was out on bail for separate charges, with two pending burglary cases in Philadelphia courts. In one, he was charged with burglary, criminal trespassing, theft, receiving stolen property and other charges relating to an alleged December 2016 incident. He posted 10 percent of $10,000 bail in March.

In May, his last scheduled hearing was postponed because he had "medical issues," according to court records.

On Thursday, his attorney was in Philadelphia court to request a continuance for further investigation in that case. "Defense: Not ready, case listed for status," reads the court filing. Kratz was present and signed a subpoena. His next court date was set for August 4.


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