BUCKS COUNTY, PA (WTXF/AP) - The search for four missing young Bucks County Pennsylvania men now feared to be the victims of foul play is set to continue Tuesday, a day after authorities arrested a man linked to a property that has become the focus of the investigation. That man has now been named a 'person of interest.'
Officials said they were chasing "incredibly hot" leads as they spent much of Monday scouring a large swath of farmland in Solebury Township, about 30 miles north of Philadelphia, in their search for 22-year-old Mark Sturgis, 21-year-old Tom Meo, 19-year-old Dean Finocchiaro, and 19-year-old Jimi Taro Patrick. One of the men disappeared on Wednesday and three others on Friday.
Sturgis lives in Pennsburg, Meo in Plumstead, Finocchiaro in Middletown and Patrick in Newtown Township. Finocchiaro has been arrested multiple times on charges that include drug possession, driving under the influence and assault.
"The leads are incredibly hot, they're very fruitful. We're making great progress, but there's so much more work to do," Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub said at a Monday afternoon news conference, his second of the day. "We're not going to rest until we get through every inch of that property."
Hours after Weintraub's briefing, authorities arrested Cosmo DiNardo, whose family owns the sprawling New Hope farmland, on an unrelated gun charge. According to a police affidavit, the 20-year-old Bensalem man was accused of possessing a shotgun and ammunition in February despite a history of mental illness that includes a voluntary commitment.
Tuesday, Weintraub emphasized that DiNardo was arrested on charges that were not related to the case, but explained that DiNardo is considered a person of interest.
DiNardo was ordered held on $1 million bail. His lawyer and parents could not immediately be reached for comment. Authorities have not called him a suspect in the men's disappearance.
Weintraub said it remains unclear what relationship the missing men have with each other. But Sturgis' father, Mark Potash, told The Associated Press that his son and Meo are longtime friends who work in construction for him. He said Finocchiaro is a mutual friend of theirs.% INLINE %
Potash said he did not know where his son was heading or what he was doing before he disappeared Friday. FOX 29's Steve Keeley reports a car belonging to Mark Sturgis was found in a Peddler's Village parking lot Monday morning.
"I don't know how this is going to end up, unfortunately, but I am confident that we are going to get to the bottom of this," Weintraub said.
The FBI, Pennsylvania state police and five local law enforcement agencies have joined the case, Weintraub said, describing the investigation as "all hands on deck."