Arrest marks new phase in search for four missing Pennsylvania men

(Reuters) - A search for four Pennsylvania men missing since last week entered a new phase on Wednesday when police arrested a man for stealing a car belonging to one of the missing people and named him as a person of interest in the case, a local prosecutor said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, state police and five local police departments have now joined the search for the four men, aged 19 to 22, and suspect that foul play is involved, said Bucks County District Attorney Mark Weintraub.

Bolstered by 40 police cadets, the search has focused on a sprawling 90-acre property in Solebury, Pennsylvania, located about 45 miles north of Philadelphia, owned by the parents of Cosmo Dinardo, 20, who was charged with stealing a car owned by Thomas Meo, one of the missing men, Weintraub said in a news conference.

"We have not recovered any human remains that I can report," Weintraub said.

"We are going to keep searching that property until we are satisfied that they are not there."

He also said that the police had found some evidence they considered important, but declined to provide details.

The four missing men are Jimi Patrick, 19, of Newtown Township; Mark Sturgis, 22, of Pennsburg; Dean Finocchiaro, 19, of Middletown Township; and Meo, 21, of Plumstead Township. Patrick has been missing since last Wednesday and the others since Friday.

Dinardo had been arrested earlier in the week for owning a gun he was not allowed to posses under state law because he had previous been involuntarily committed in a mental health facility, prosecutors said. He was released following that arrest after his father posted a bond.

(Reporting by Taylor Harris in New York; editing by Scott Malone and G Crosse)