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Attorney: Client has confessed to killing 4 Pennsylvania men


Redacción Agencias | 7/14/2017, 7:26 a.m.
Attorney: Client has confessed to killing 4 Pennsylvania men
El asesino confesó los crímenes e informó dónde están los cadáveres | Foto Cortesía

A jail inmate who has been the focus of an investigation into the disappearances of four men admitted on Thursday that he killed them, his attorney said in a surprise development.

Cosmo DiNardo, 20, confessed to the commission of or participation in four murders and agreed to plead guilty to four murder counts, attorney Paul Lang said outside court, where DiNardo had met with investigators. DiNardo also told investigators where the bodies are.

"I'm sorry," a shackled DiNardo said as he left the courthouse.

In exchange for the cooperation, Lang said, prosecutors were taking the death penalty off the table. There was no immediate comment from prosecutors, but they retweeted news reports of DiNardo's confession.

The mystery of the four men's disappearances has transfixed the Philadelphia area over the past week, taking a grisly turn when human remains were discovered in a 12½-foot-deep grave on a farm. But what sort of evil befell them, and why, had remained shrouded in secrecy.

The prosecutor, who has held twice-daily briefings, made it clear Thursday he knew a lot more than he was saying, citing the need to protect the investigation. That only added to the speculation and rumors before DiNardo's confession.

People walk at the entrance to a blocked off drive way, in Solebury, Pa., as the search continues Wednesday, July 12, 2017, for four missing young Pennsylvania men feared to be the victims of foul play. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Laura Hefty, who lives a few miles from the gravesite in Solebury Township, where farms bump up against new residential developments, said many people were trying to convince themselves this is nothing that could ever happen to their kids.

"They feel incredibly sad. Some people are pretty angry, too," and are asking, "How did it get this bad?" she said.

The four men, all residents of Bucks County, disappeared last week. At least three knew each other. The remains of only one, 19-year-old Dean Finocchiaro, have been identified, though authorities said other remains were found in the hole as well.

DiNardo, the son of the farm property's owners, was being held on $5 million cash bail before his confession, accused of trying to sell one of the victims' cars.

District Attorney Matthew Weintraub parried one question after another by saying he couldn't — or wouldn't — answer.

Police were back at the farm Thursday, digging away in the dust and the 90-degree-plus heat and using plywood to shore up the deep, tent-covered trench that they excavated at the spot where Weintraub said dogs smelled "these poor boys 12½ feet below the ground."

For days, TV news helicopters trained their cameras on the excavation, creating an unsettling racket but allowing the public to follow the forensic work from their office computers. Viewers could watch investigators haul up buckets of dirt and sift it through handheld screens in what looked like an archaeological dig.

When the prosecutor held a dramatic midnight Wednesday news conference to announce the discovery of remains, Claire Vandenberg, of neighboring New Hope, gathered around a TV with a group of friends to hear developments on what she said is "all we talk about."