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DEVELOPING: The defense attorney for the lone person of interest connected to the search for four missing men in Pennsylvania said his client admitted Thursday to killing the four, and told authorities the location of the bodies.
Lawyer Paul Lang told reporters his client, Cosmo DiNardo, 20, confessed to “the four murders,” and is ready to plead guilty to four counts of first-degree murder.
“I’m sorry,” a shackled DiNardo said as he left the courthouse.
Lang said in exchange for the confession, prosecutors agreed to take the death penalty off the table in return for DiNardo’s cooperation.
Prosecutors have not commented yet on Lang’s announcement.
DiNardo previously boasted about killing someone over debt, and was pictured on social media holding a weapon, according to published reports.
DiNardo told friends he wasn’t worried after Dean A. Finocchiaro was reported missing last Friday, and suggested the 19-year-old was possibly on the run from law enforcement, according to text messages obtained by Philly.com.
The person, who shared the messages with the news outlet on the condition that he and others in the conversation not be identified, also shared a photo he said DiNardo sent to the group that appears to show the 20-year-old brandishing what appears to be a revolver.
Multiple sets of human remains were unearthed from a 12-foot-deep mass grave on an isolated Pennsylvania farm early Thursday as authorities continued digging for the bodies of four young men who disappeared last week.
Officials were able to identify one of the victims as 19-year-old Dean Finocchiaro — who vanished last week along with Mark Sturgis, 22, Tom Meo, 21, and Jimi Tar Patrick, 19. Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub said he could not identify the other remains at this time, while issuing a fresh appeal for more help from the public.
“They are down 12 foot deep in a hole that is getting deeper by the minute,” Weintraub said.
The FBI had been using heavy equipment to dig a deep trench on the farm property and then sifting through each bucket of dirt by hand, after cadaver dogs led authorities to the spot on the 90-acre farm in Solebury Township, located about 30 miles north of Philadelphia, where they discovered the remains inside a 12½-foot-deep common grave.
“I don’t understand the science behind it, but those dogs could smell these poor boys 12½ feet below the ground,” Weintraub said.
Fire and rescue crews on Thursday were using plywood to help shore up the deep grave as investigators worked inside under intense heat and choking dust.
“They’re tenderly, painstakingly, reverentially recovering the remains of people they do not even know,” Weintraub said.
DiNardo was arrested Wednesday for allegedly trying to sell Meo’s car for $500 on July 9 — a day after Meo was last seen. That 1996 Nissan Maxima was also found on the family’s farm.
Weintraub said Thursday he does know more about the relationships among the men but can’t share more information because he needs to “maintain the integrity of the investigation.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.