UPDATE: Sources say DiNardo claims to have killed a woman and man in Philadelphia.
A suspect in the murders of four young men in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, made claims that he had killed other people prior to the most recent homicides, according to NBC10 sources.
U.S. & World
Now, Philadelphia police plan to investigate his claims.
Cosmo DiNardo, 20, told police he killed others years before he and his cousin were charged in a grisly crime spree that ended with police unearthing the victims' bodies from two deep pits on the DiNardo family's sprawling Bucks County farm, sources said.
However, the sources have not confirmed the validity and time frame of the alleged admission.
"Given what he was already been accused of its certainly a possibility we would be remiss if we didn't investigate further," Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said Tuesday morning.
Ross noted that Philadelphia homicide detectives have yet to talk to DiNardo and that everything is speculative at this point.
"In order for us to lend any credence to it we would have to talk to him directly," Ross said. "When you're dealing with someone who is pathological like that you don't know where he is coming from."
DiNardo’s attorneys refused to talk about the case or their client’s alleged claim of prior murders when approached by NBC10’s Deanna Durante on Monday.
Last week, DiNardo's attorneys told reporters he confessed to murdering Jimi Taro Patrick, 19; Dean Finocchiaro, 19; Mark Sturgis, 22, and 21-year-old Tom Meo.
Police found the four men at the 90-acre Solebury Township farm after a grueling, five-day search in sweltering heat and pelting rain. The confession was in exchange for being spared the death penalty, according to DiNardo’s attorney.
DiNardo’s brushes with the law began in his early teenage years. His first encounter with the Bensalem Police Department was around age 14. Over the next six years, he had more than 30 run-ins with its officers, department director Frederick Harran said, although court filings reflect only the minor infractions and traffic stops that came after age 18.
Prior to the Bucks County murders, DiNardo’s contacts with police resulted in one arrest; a gun charge that was later withdrawn. Prosecutors say DiNardo is schizophrenic and was not allowed to possess a gun. Officials also say a family member had DiNardo involuntarily committed to a mental institution, though the details of his institutionalization remain unclear.
Despite frequent interactions with police, DiNardo still managed to sell guns and marijuana in the area, according to a source familiar with DiNardo's confession. A police affidavit confirmed the source's story — DiNardo allegedly lured each of the victims to his family's 90-acre Solebury Township farm under the guise of marijuana deals.
Patrick, his first victim, was set to buy $8,000-worth of marijuana but arrived with only $800, DiNardo told police, so he brought the Loyola University student to a remote part of the farm and shot him with a .22 caliber rifle. He buried Patrick in a hole he dug with a backhoe.
DiNardo then allegedly enlisted his cousin, Sean Kratz, to help him rob Finocchiaro, Sturgis and Meo. The three victims were shot, placed with a backhoe into an oil tank that had been converted into a cooker, which DiNardo called a "pig roaster," and then lit on fire, according to the affidavit. He buried the drum deep underground on his family's farm.
Court records show Kratz was previously arrested on two separate burglary charges in Philadelphia for thefts in June and December of last year where he reportedly stole $1,000 in tools and $450 worth of jewelry.
A week before the second theft arrest, Kratz was picked up for shoplifting $200 worth of clothing at a Macy's near Philadelphia. Police say Kratz had been using pliers to cut off security tags. He pleaded guilty in June to retail theft after more serious charges were withdrawn.
With the Philadelphia cases still pending in January, court records show Kratz skipped bail and went to Illinois. That prompted a judge to issue a bench warrant for his arrest. Out on bail again, a prosecutor said Friday, Kratz became a killer.
Kratz, who said he works at a tiling company, did not have a lawyer with him at his arraignment. Clad in a blue jumpsuit and flanked by detectives, he told a judge that he has trouble walking because he'd been shot three months ago. Kratz's mother, Vanessa, declined to comment.
At a news conference Friday announcing that police had recovered all four previously missing bodies, a reporter asked Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub why DiNardo felt the need to kill the young men.
"I'm not really sure we could ever answer that question," he said.
Law enforcement sources told NBC10 multiple agencies continue to get calls about DiNardo and Kratz, with social media fueling their rumored involvement in other crimes. However, sources say that so far there is no indication that those rumors are valid.
Weintraub did not have any further comments on the case Monday but said any lead or report his office receives will be tracked down and if anyone has info of suspected crimes from the suspects, they will look into it.
Both DiNardo and Kratz are being held in the Bucks County Jail.
Sturgis' family has retained personal injury law firm Ross Feller Casey, LLP to represent them since DiNardo possibly used family-owned weapons to commit the murders, the Philadelphia-based law firm said.
"We will likely never make sense of this ghastly murder spree, but we will not rest until we understand every detail, every nuance surrounding this horrific crime," Sturgis family attorney Robert Ross said. "The families of these young men deserve nothing less."
No lawsuit was immediately filed against DiNardo or his family, which has various real estate holdings.
The families of Finocchiaro, Meo, Patrick and Sturgis have announced funeral plans for family and friends.
Funeral services for Finocchiaro will be held Saturday in Levittown followed by private burial. His family asked that donation's in his name be made to NOVA, 2320 York Road, Suite B-1, Jamison, PA 18929.
Meo's funeral will be held Thursday in Northeast Philadelphia following a viewing Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
Funeral services for Patrick will be held Friday in Newtown followed by private interment. His family asked that donations in Patrick's name be made to Boys Town, 14100 Crawford St., Boys Town, NE 68010 or Nami-Bucks Chapter, 600 Louis Dr., Suite 106 Warminster, PA 18974.
Yellow ribbons now line the Newtown street where Patrick lived with his grandparents. On Tuesday night at 7:30, Holy Ghost Prep planned a prayer service in the 2016 graduate's memory.
A memorial gathering for Sturgis will be held Thursday night in Bensalem.