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Timeline: Cosmo DiNardo's troubled past, the search for his victims and the criminal case

Emily Babay, Patricia Madej

Updated: Thursday, July 20, 2017, 7:31 PM

Members of the Montgomery County Community College Municipal Police Academy program search for the four missing men on a Solebury Township farm.

Cosmo DiNardo had dozens of interactions with police, was banned from two school campuses, and exhibited other problematic behaviors beginning as a teenager. Things escalated drastically in July 2017, when he was implicated in the disappearance and later confessed to the murders of Mark R. Sturgis, Thomas C. Meo, Dean A. Finocchiaro, and Jimi Tar Patrick in July 2017. Here’s a timeline of DiNardo’s troubled past and the search for his victims:

Sean Kratz (left) and Cosmo DiNardo (right) are charged in the Bucks County slayings. The two men are cousins, authorities say.
Clockwise from top left: Dean Andrew Finocchiaro, Thomas Charles Meo, Jimi Tar Patrick, and Mark Richard Sturgis are missing. Bucks County District Attorney's Office
Defense lawyers Paul Lang, left, and Michael Parlow walk from the Bucks County Courthouse in, Doylestown, Pa., Thursday, July 13, 2017. Lang, a defense attorney for Cosmo DiNardo, said Thursday that his client has admitted killing four Bucks county men.
Antonio DiNardo the father of Cosmo DiNardo is driven away from a Bucks County government building Thursday, July 13, 2017, in Doylestown, Pa. Son Cosmo DiNardo admitted killing the four men who went missing last week in Bucks county.
Pennsylvania State Police officers walk up a driveway of Solebury, PA property belong to family of Cosmo DiNardo where investigators found remains of victims that Cosmo admitted being involved in killing.
Flowers were placed at the head of a drive way in Solebury, Pa., as the investigation of four missing young Pennsylvania men continues Friday, July 14, 2017.
Attorney Paul Lang announces to media that his client, Cosmo DiNardo confessed to participating in the murder of four missing men in Bucks county. WILLIAM THOMAS CAIN / For The Philadelphia Inquirer
Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub speaks with the media after Cosmo DiNardo confessed to participating in the murder of four men in Bucks county. WILLIAM THOMAS CAIN / For The Philadelphia Inquirer
Aerial views over the DiNardo family farm in Solebury, PA on Thursday. Investigators are searching for evidence in the disappearance of four Bucks County men.
Aerial views over the DiNardo family farm in Solebury, PA on Thursday. Investigators are searching for evidence in the disappearance of four Bucks County men.
Aerial views over the DiNardo family farm in Solebury, PA on Thursday. Investigators are searching for evidence in the disappearance of four Bucks County men. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Aerial views over the DiNardo family farm in Solebury, PA on Thursday. Investigators are searching for evidence in the disappearance of four Bucks County men.
Aerial views over the DiNardo family farm in Solebury, PA on Thursday. Investigators are searching for evidence in the disappearance of four Bucks County men.
Aerial views over the DiNardo family farm in Solebury, PA on Thursday. Investigators are searching for evidence in the disappearance of four Bucks County men. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Cosmo DiNardo has been identified as a person of interest in the case of four missing men in Bucks County. Bucks County District Attorney’s Office
Mugshot of Cosmo DiNardo, 20 after confessing to the commission or participation in four murders in Bucks county. TNS
Bucks County DA Matthew Weintraub during midnight press conference July 13, 2017 where he announced that bodies have been found on a Solebury farm belonging to the DiNardo family. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer
Bucks County DA Matthew Weintraub during midnight press conference July 13, 2017 where he announced that bodies have been found on a Solebury farm belonging to the DiNardo family. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer
Unidentified male illuminated by lights of police vehicles at the Solebury Twp farm owned by the DiNardo family. This gentleman has been with the families of the four missing men waiting for information on the disappearance of four young Bucks County men. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer
Three women along the fringe of the DiNardo family farm in Solebury Twp Wednesday night as a police vehicle drives up the driveway. Investigators were searching for clues in disappearance of four Bucks County men. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer
Unidentified family and friends gather on the fringe of the DiNardo family farm in Solebury Township for any new information on the disappearance of four young Bucks County men. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer
Unidentified family and friends gather on the fringe of the DiNardo family farm in Solebury Township for any new information on the disappearance of four young Bucks County men. At left is Gregg Shore, Bucks County assistant district attorney.
Investigators at the DiNardo family farm in Solebury, gathering evidence on disappearance of four Bucks County men. Clem Murray / Staff Photographer
At the DiNardo family farm in Solebury, investigators were using a backhoe to try to find clues into the disappearance of four young men. Cosmo DiNardo, son of the owners, has been called a "person of interest" in the case. Clem Murray / Staff Photographer
Investigators at the DiNardo family farm in Solebury, gathering evidence on disappearance of four Bucks County men. Clem Murray / Staff Photographer
DiNardo family farm in Solebury, the scene of investigation into the disappearance of four Bucks County men Clem Murray / Staff Photographer
DiNardo family farm in Solebury, PA the scene of investigation into the disappearance of four Bucks County men. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer
Investigators at the DiNardo family farm in Solebury, PA gathering evidence on disappearance of four Bucks County men. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer
Investigators at the DiNardo family farm in Solebury, PA gathering evidence on disappearance of four Bucks County men. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer
Family members of four missing Bucks County men sit vigil in a field investigators are searching for clues in their disappearance. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer
Bucks County DA Matthew Weintraub holds a press conference Tuesday morning in Solebury Township concerning the disappearance of four young men. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer
Cadets with Montgomery County Community College Municipal Police Academy take a break in the search for clues in the disappearance of four Bucks County men, Tuesday. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer
Members of the Montgomery County Community College Municipal Police Academy program take a break in the search for clues. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer
Montgomery County Community College Police Academy cadets join the search for four missing young men at a farm in Solebury Township. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer
Bucks County DA Matthew Weintraub holds a news conference Monday in Solebury Township concerning the disappearance of four young men. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer
DA Matthew Weintraub holds up photos of the missing men. "The leads are incredibly hot," he said. "They're very fruitful." CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer
Bucks County DA Matthew Weintraub (center) leaves a press conference in Solebury Township .where he discussed the investigation into the disappearance of four young Bucks County men. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer
Police investigators are searching a property on Lower York Road in Solebury Township on Monday for clues in the disappearance of four young Bucks County men. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer
Unidentified family and friends gather on the fringe of the DiNardo family farm in Solebury Township for any new information on the disappearance of four young Bucks County men. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer
People who identified themselves to police as family wait in the shade of a property on Lower York Road in Solebury Township. where police and FBI investigators are searching for clues in the disappearance of four young men from Bucks County. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer
Solebury Township chief of police Dominick Bellizzie (right) speaks with Rich and Sharon Patrick, the grandparents of Jimi Tar Patrick, one of four missing Bucks County men, before a press conference by Bucks County DA Matthew Weintraub. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer
A Solebury Township policeman guards a garage on Aquetong Road where investigators found the car of one of the four missing men from Bucks County on Monday. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer
A law enforcement official escorts Cosmo DiNardo to a vehicle Thursday, July 13, 2017, in Doylestown, Pa. Lawyer Paul Lang, a defense attorney for DiNardo, said Thursday that his client has admitted killing the four men who went missing last week and told authorities the location of the bodies. Lang says prosecutors agreed to take the death penalty off the table in return for DiNardo's cooperation. AP Photo/Matt Rourke
Photo Gallery: Bucks County search for four missing men

2011

Aug. 15: Bensalem police first come into contact with Cosmo DiNardo after someone calls to report him riding his ATV on the street.

2015

January: DiNardo is sworn in for his first one-year term as a mayor-appointed member of the Bensalem Drug and Alcohol Advisory Board.

June: DiNardo graduates from Holy Ghost Prep.

Summer: DiNardo meets fellow soon-to-be Arcadia freshman Sara Dinner at a concert. She said he made her uncomfortable and invited her and her friends back to his house. He then contacted her repeatedly on social media in ways she described as “aggressive and uncalled for.”

August: DiNardo enrolls at Arcadia University but only attends class there for one semester.

2016

January: DiNardo begins his second term as a member of the Bensalem Drug and Alcohol Advisory Board.

May: Police respond to a one-person ATV accident at the DiNardos’ Lower York Road property in Solebury. DiNardo said his injury was a broken ankle and he is taken to an unspecified hospital.

July 12: DiNardo, who has already had 23 encounters with police, is involuntarily committed by his mother, Sandra DiNardo. He is evaluated by Lenape Valley Crisis Center before going to Doylestown Hospital. The length of his commitment is unclear.

Oct. 23: DiNardo shows up uninvited to Holy Ghost Prep’s open house and is loud and disorderly. He is escorted out and banned from the campus.

November: DiNardo is banned from the campus of Arcadia University after verbal interactions with several students and staff when he returns to reenroll.

2017

January: DiNardo takes a one-credit class at Bucks County Community College.

Feb. 9: Bensalem police receive a call about a man with a shotgun. At 12:49 p.m., Officer Katharine Bailey pulls DiNardo over and finds him with a 20-gauge Savage Arms shotgun, which he is not legally allowed to possess because of his involuntary commitment. He is arraigned but not held in jail.

Feb. 16: Preliminary hearing on the gun charge is continued from March 1 to March 21 at request of DiNardo’s lawyer, Michael Kevin Parlow.

Feb. 21: The hearing is again continued to March 29 at request of Magisterial District Judge Michael Gallagher.

March 24: Bensalem resident Adam Moore says DiNardo rear-ended him in a crash on Hulmeville Road near Park Avenue.

March 29: Preliminary hearing on the gun charge is continued from March 29 to May 30 at the request of the Commonwealth.

May: Attorney for Adam Moore sues DiNardo over the car accident

May 30: Preliminary hearing on the gun charge is held at Judge Gallagher’s office. The charge is dismissed.

In the weeks before the killings: Acquaintances of DiNardo’s and friends of the victims said DiNardo bragged about having someone killed over a debt and made “scary insinuations.”

July 5: Jimi Taro Patrick, 19, of Newtown, is last seen. He is the first of the men to go missing. DiNardo told investigators he picked up Patrick to sell him marijuana, then shot, killed and buried him in a remote part of the property.

July 6: Patrick’s grandfather reports him missing.

July 7: The other three men — Mark R. Sturgis, 22, of Pennsburg; Thomas C. Meo, 21, of Plumstead; and Dean A. Finocchiaro, 19, of Middletown — were seen for the last time.

Finocchiaro’s mother reports him missing. DiNardo and Kratz plan to rob Finocchiaro instead of selling him marijuana as planned. They allegedly shoot him in a barn. Later, they allegedly fatally shoot Meo and Sturgis during another purported marijuana deal. The cousins allegedly place the victims in a metal tank, pour gasoline inside and set it on fire.

July 8: Neither Meo nor Sturgis shows up for work. Meo’s mother reports him missing. DiNardo and Kratz allegedly use a backhoe to dig a hole and bury the three men.

July 9: Sturgis’ parents report him missing, and authorities make the search for the four men public. A search warrant is executed at a home in Solebury Township, where investigators find Meo’s car. Sturgis’ vehicle is found near Peddler’s Village.

A Solebury Township policeman guards a garage on Aquetong Road where investigators found the car of one of the four missing men. (CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer)

July 10: Law enforcement officers comb a vast farm property in Solebury in efforts to find the missing men, as the case prompts intense media attention. Among the key developments:

Bucks County DA Matthew Weintraub (center) holds a press conference (CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer)

July 11: Search efforts continue at the Solebury farm. Key updates in the case include:

Police guard the driveway to the farm in Solebury Township where police are searching.

July 12: Human remains are found on the farm as the search for clues in the disappearances continues. Developments include:

Investigators are back at the DiNardo family farm in Solebury. (CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer)

July 13: As investigators continued work to identify the other bodies found in the grave on the Solebury farm, and determine what happened to them, a lawyer for Cosmo DiNardo said DiNardo confessed to his role in the slayings of the four men.

DiNardo “confessed to his participation or commission” in the killings in exchange for a promise from prosecutors that they would not seek the death penalty, his attorney said. DiNardo promised to lead investigators to the grave where the fourth victim was buried. He also told them there was an accomplice. (Criminal complaint against DiNardo) Sean Kratz, 20, was taken into custody in Northeast Philadelphia, according to law enforcement sources. As part of his agreement with prosecutors, DiNardo told them about the co-conspirator. (Criminal complaint against Kratz) The coroner was at the farm Thursday morning. Investigators were still retrieving remains from the grave, prosecutors said. Investigators find Patrick’s body buried at the location where DiNardo told them it would be.

July 14: Cosmo DiNardo and Sean Kratz are charged in the killings. DiNardo faces charges in all four of the slayings, while Kratz is charged in three cases. The two are cousins. Prosecutors also disclose they have found the bodies of all four men. DiNardo and Kratz are arraigned and held without bail.

July 18: Philadelphia police said they are looking into claims by DiNardo that he had killed before — a man and a woman, both in Philadelphia when he was 15. But they cautioned that the claims were not verified and they had not yet been able to question DiNardo themselves.

July 20: Law enforcement were back on the DiNardo property conducting what the D.A.’s office said was a “walk-through” in preparation to release the crime scene.

Sept. 6: A glimpse into DiNardo's social media posts come to light, offering a portrait of an increasingly lonely and isolated young man.

Sept. 7: DiNardo and Kratz, are held for trial. DiNardo waives his preliminary hearing.

Dec. 13: Prosecutors reserve the right to seek the death penalty against the two cousins accused of killing four young men in Bucks County.

Dec. 14: DiNardo and Kratz are arraigned on murder and other charges. Both plead not guilty.

Dec. 20: The family of Sturgis files a wrongful death suit against Cosmo DiNardo and his parents, as well as against Kratz.

2018

March 5: The families of the other three victims file wrongful death suits, alleging that DiNardo's parents and their construction company share blame in the killings, along with the young DiNardo and his co-defendant, Kratz.

May 16: DiNardo pleads guilty to killing and burying the four young men in Bucks County, nearly a year after the incident shocked the region.

Emily Babay, Patricia Madej

Read full story: Timeline: Cosmo DiNardo's troubled past, the search for his victims and the criminal case

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