Bucks DA: Disappearance of 4 men suggests foul play; case considered ‘criminal’

1 Philadelphia

Philadelphia News & Search

1 News - 1 eMovies - 1 eMusic - 1 eBooks - 1 Search

Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub said Monday afternoon he suspects foul play in the disappearance of four young men reported missing in lower Bucks County after mysteriously disappearing last week.

“I sure believe there is,” foul play, Weintraub said at an afternoon news conference on the status of those missing, identified by county investigators as Mark Sturgis, 22, of Pennsburg; Tom Meo, 21, of Plumstead; Dean Finocchiaro, 18, of Middletown; and Jimi Tar Patrick, 19, of Newtown Township.

As search crews combed through a field along Lower York Road in Solebury, Weintraub said investigators are treating the case “as a criminal investigation at this time until we know differently.”

He said the search – which could go on for days – was “like finding needles in a haystack.” Several police cars and a backhoe could be seen from the roadway.

“We’re not exactly sure what we’re going to find there,” he added.

Sturgis’ father, Mark Potash, said his son and Meo were last seen Friday. Weintraub said one of the other men also was last seen on Friday and the fourth disappeared Wednesday. Investigators said they were unsure if the disappearances are linked in any way except that they were told all four knew each other.

At a briefing Monday morning, Weintraub reported no breaks in the case and asked for the public’s help.

Bucks County DA Matthew Weintraub holds up photos of four young men who are missing during a press conference in Solebury Township. (CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer)

Potash said his son and Meo both worked for him at his construction business.

On Saturday morning, when the two didn’t show up for work he was concerned.

“I thought maybe they had a night of drinking and slept somewhere,” Potash said. “That was my hope.”

By mid-afternoon, Potash said he knew something was wrong. Calls to both men’s phones went straight to voicemail, he said.  He said he contacted police late Saturday.

“They are just really good kids,” Potash said, describing them as hard workers.

He has no idea why his son or Meo are missing, Potash said.

“I can’t even begin to imagine,” he said. “At this point, as the hours pass, it seems more and more grim.”

Sturgis is a phenomenal guitar player, “super intelligent,” a great athlete, worker, brother and son, Potash said. His son, who grew up with his mother and now lives with him, has three sisters and one brother.

He and Sturgis’ mother have been in touch and he said they are both struggling. Potash has also been in contact with the Meo family and said everyone is trying to keep themselves together.

“It is very difficult,” he said. “I really don’t know how I’m going to make it through the rest of the day. I’m going minute by minute right now.”

A Facebook post seeking leads said Meo is diabetic and was last seen around Routes 202 and 263 near Doylestown on Friday.

Devin Houser, 20, of Doylestown, previously worked with  Meo at Doylestown Auto and Tire. The two met about a year and a half ago and became work friends, Houser said; they hung out a few times since and lived minutes apart so Houser frequently gave Meo a ride home when their shifts let out. He said Meo would strike up and hold a conversation with anyone and everyone.

“He was like an easygoing person, he was a really nice dude,” Houser said. “He’d get along with any single person.”

He said those who know Meo are concerned.

“Everyone just seems stunned by it,” Houser said. “No one really knows what’s going on.”

State police, along with detectives from Solebury, Middletown, Newtown, and Buckingham Townships  along with police dogs, executed a search warrant at a home in Solebury Township around 7 p.m. Sunday.

Potash said Meo’s car was found in the garage of the house. What connection, if any, the house has to the missing four is unclear.

Clockwise from top left, Dean Andrew Finocchiaro, Thomas Charles Meo, Jimi Tar Patrick, and Mark Richard Sturgis are missing.

Potash said his son’s car had been found at Peddler’s Village in Lahaska, near New Hope. Finocchiaro was last seen as he was being picked up by a fifth person, who is not missing, Potash said.

Weintraub declined to comment on whether cars were found. He said county detectives, with the help of several local police departments and the F.B.I., were searching several locations.

Asked whether the four young men were still alive, Weintraub replied: “I can’t say. We hope and pray that they are, but we need to go where the investigation leads us.”

Anyone with information about the men’s whereabouts were asked to call a tip line: 215-297-8201.

Staff writer Colton Shaw contributed to this article.

More Coverage

1 Philadelphia

Philadelphia News & Search

1 News - 1 eMovies - 1 eMusic - 1 eBooks - 1 Search



Leave a Reply