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Marine Linked To Dead Recruit Under House Arrest In Unrelated Case

BOSTON (CBS) – A Marine considered a "person of interest" in the death of a recruit was back in court Friday in an unrelated case.

Frank Lipka, 39, of Roslindale, was arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court on an indictment in which he's accused of threatening a pizza delivery driver in September 2017. Lipka pleaded not guilty to charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and unlawful possession of ammunition. He was arraigned on the same charges in a lower court back in March. On Friday, he posted $10,000 bail and was ordered to stay under house arrest with a GPS device.

frank lipka
Frank Lipka in Suffolk Superior Court, May 25, 2018. (WBZ-TV)

Lipka did not speak to reporters or Joey Brancato's family at court. Brancato, 21, was staying with Lipka when he was last seen alive back on November 18. Brancato's body was found four months later on the side of Interstate 95 in Canton.

Lipka has not been charged in connection with Brancato's disappearance or death, but investigators describe him as a "person of interest" in the case. Brancato's family members believe Lipka was involved in their son's death.

"He didn't act violent in the court room, he acted meek, he looks down. But he does have a violent side. They did say he does have PTSD. So he is dealing with problems and issues," said Andrea Brancato-Walke, Brancato's aunt outside court.

Frank Lipka
Joseph Brancato (left) and Frank Lipka (WBZ-TV)

Lipka is due back in court July 18 in the delivery driver case. That trial is set to begin November 5.

Brancato's family is planning a memorial for him at Deer Island on June 2, which would have been his 22nd birthday.

"We're hopeful because we do have Joey, and we do have the information leading up to finding Joey, that we will get a conviction of Frank Lipka for the death of my nephew," said Brancato-Walke.

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