Matt Weintraub was an intern in the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office in the early 1990s, before moving up through the ranks in other offices in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Now, as law enforcement officials investigate a quadruple homicide in the bucolic suburbs of Philadelphia, Weintraub is back in Bucks, and he’s a long way from his internship. He has risen all the way to district attorney, and those who know him say he is the right person to handle the high-profile case.
“Matt will not leave any stone unturned. He’s very, very thorough,” said Brian Hessenthaler, the chief operating officer of Bucks County. “He doesn’t back down from a challenge. And he’s got one right now.”
Bucks County prosecutors have led the investigation into the disappearance of four young men, which became a homicide investigation Thursday as 20-year-old Cosmo DiNardo confessed to his participation in the slayings of all four men. DiNardo agreed to plead guilty to four murder counts, attorney Paul Lang said.
The FBI and other local police departments have been assisting in the investigation.
“This is a homicide, make no mistake about it. We just don’t know how many homicides,” Weintraub announced at a midnight news conference on Thursday.
"We're going to remain strong. We're going to see this investigation to the end and we're going to bring each and every one of these lost boys home to their families, one way or another," he added. "And we will not rest until we do that."
Police arrested DiNardo Wednesday for attempting to sell a car owned by one of the missing men. DiNardo also lives on the property where the remains were found.
Questions remain: Will Bucks County prosecutors charges anyone else? Will they get a conviction?
Weintraub did not immediately respond for a request for comment. But colleagues who have worked with him throughout his career are confident he is up to the task. He’s a humble man of conviction with a thorough work ethic, former and current colleagues told NBC. He’s also a seasoned and aggressive prosecutor who was appointed as Bucks County district attorney because of his experience.
After his internship in the Bucks office, he went on to work in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, and Cape May, New Jersey, until he was essentially summoned back to Bucks County for the district attorney job in 2016 by his predecessor, David Heckler.
When he announced his mid-term retirement, Heckler told NBC he handpicked Weintraub to succeed him “to the extent that I could.” The district attorney appointment had to be approved by county judges, who ultimately saw in Weintraub what Heckler did.
“To me, nature or something picked him,” Heckler told NBC. “I saw most of the senior people in the DA’s office when I was a trial judge. He was just clearly the pick of the litter.”
“He was aggressive,” Heckler said. “He knew what he was in the courtroom for and he got the job done.”
When he took the job, his former colleague Michelle Henry agreed.
“He is a top-notch prosecutor in every sense of the word," Henry told Philly.com at the time.
Weintraub is up for election this fall for the first time in Bucks County. Even with an unpopular president of the same party, Heckler seemed confident Weintraub’s personal and professional credentials will carry him to victory.
But first there’s the quadruple homicide to put to bed. Weintraub’s press conferences about the case are now beamed through TV and computer screens nationwide.
“We’re going to start looking seriously at those homicide charges,” Weintraub said at one of those press conferences Wednesday night. “In fact, we already have.”