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Police gear up for Day 4 of farmland search for missing men

Written by The Associated Press | Jul 12, 2017 4:10 AM
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Law enforcement officials walk down a blocked off driveway in Solebury, Bucks County, as the search resumes Tuesday, July 11, 2017, for four missing young Pennsylvania men feared to be the victims of foul play. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

(Philadelphia) -- Authorities are gearing up for another day of searching a sprawling Bucks County farm that has been scoured by law enforcement officers, heavy construction equipment and cadaver dogs for evidence linked to four missing young men who are believed to be victims of foul play.

Aerial TV footage on Tuesday showed authorities crowded around a deep trench, apparently dug by a backhoe, as officers gathered up dirt and ran it through sifters.

"We want to be careful not to miss the tiniest piece of evidence," Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub told reporters, noting that police were still seeking the public's help in finding 22-year-old Mark Sturgis, 21-year-old Tom Meo, 19-year-old Dean Finocchiaro and 19-year-old Jimi Tar Patrick. Patrick disappeared last Wednesday, the other three on Friday.

A person of interest in the case, who had been jailed on an unrelated gun charge, was released Tuesday night after posting 10 percent of his $1 million bail in cash. Authorities have not called 20-year-old Cosmo DiNardo a suspect. His parents, Antonio and Sandra DiNardo, own the farmland in Solebury Township, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of Philadelphia. Neither the DiNardos nor their son's lawyer could be reached for comment.

The search for the missing men has utilized cross-country law enforcement resources, according to Weintraub. In addition to a busload of police cadets who took part in the third day of the search on Tuesday, the FBI, state police and at least five local law enforcement agencies also were investigating.

When asked if the four missing men could still be alive, Weintraub responded, "I think it's very important to hang on to hope."

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