Loved ones struggle to make sense of missing men’s brutal deaths,
The body of Dean Finnocchiaro, one of four missing men, and other human remains were found buried 12 feet underground on a Pennsylvania farm. USA TODAY
The grisly murders of four young men on a remote Pennsylvania farm have left a trail of mourning communities and grieving loved ones trying to make sense of the madness.
Lawyers say Cosmo DiNardo, 20, and his cousin, Sean Kratz, 20, admitted killing Jimi Tar Patrick, 19, Dean Finocchiaro, 19, Tom Meo, 21, and Mark Sturgis, 22, in the wake of seemingly pedestrian marijuana deals.
Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub says authorities may never be able to fully explain to the families why the men were lured to the farm, killed and buried in two impromptu graves discovered by authorities last week.
Patrick had been a star pitcher at the local Catholic School, Holy Ghost Prep, the school DiNardo graduated from a year earlier. Patrick’s parents said he was attending Loyola University on a full scholarship, and the school said he made dean’s list.
Police say DiNardo claims Patrick was a drug dealer who agreed July 5 to purchase 4 pounds of marijuana for $8,000 but showed up with only $800. DiNardo says he lured Patrick to his family’s 90-acre farm, shot him and buried him with a backhoe.
Loyola’s president, the Rev. Brian F. Linnane, described Patrick as a good student with no discipline problems at the school.
“As a community, we are understandably sad, angry and confused,” Linnane said. “We will grieve, support one another, and continue to surround Jimi’s loved ones in comfort and prayer.”
Fellow Loyola student Samantha Lulov remembered Patrick as always having a smile on his face.
“Campus was a better place with you there,” she said in a Facebook post. “I will never forget the date we went on in September and sharing endless laughs with you at miss Shirley’s and walking around the inner harbor chatting about our transition to college.”
Two days after Patrick was killed, DiNardo said Finocchiaro agreed to buy a quarter-pound of marijuana for $700. DiNardo and Kratz took the teen to the farm and killed him, both men told police.
His brother Johnny posted on Facebook a picture of Dean in the service window of the ice cream shop where he worked.
“He never failed to make everyone laugh,” Johnny Finocchiaro wrote. “I’ll never forget how happy grandmom got when he’d stop over and sit and talk with her for hours. She’s probably so happy he’s with her now.”
Co-worker Bill Tosti also reflected on Finocchiaro’s sense of humor.
“He had a smile that would just hug you,” Tosti told the local NBC-TV affiliate. “He was real warm, very friendly, would do anything for anybody, a great teammate to work with.”
Meo and Sturgis worked together at a local construction company. DiNardo said they also had arranged a drug deal for that day. Soon both were also dead and buried on the property.
Meo was a diabetic, and when he went missing days after Patrick did, his family was concerned that he might not have the drugs he needed to survive.
Meo’s girlfriend, Loralynn Ingreso posted a homage to her “sweet, precious Tom” and best friend, on Facebook. She remembered Meo as loyal, respectful and inquisitive.
“Whatever I write here will not and cannot do his beautiful soul any justice,” Ingreso wrote. “I am heartbroken, sad, and confused. .. God has blessed me with Tom’s presence in my life. Tom is one of the biggest blessings that God could have given me.”
Sturgis was intelligent, a great guitar player and a great athlete, his father told philly.com. His stepmother, Rosanne Potash, shared pictures of her stepson on social media sites.
“Those big dimples and that smile Mark was contagious!!!” she said. “Just a happy, silly, kind hearted sweet kid”
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