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Recruiter Due In Court On Charges Unrelated To Missing Marine

BOSTON (CBS) – The former roommate of a missing Marine recruit was taken into custody by Boston Police and is expected to appear in court on Monday.

Gunnery Sgt. Frank Lipka was arrested Friday on charges unrelated to Joseph Brancato's disappearance. But the 21-year-old was staying with the recruiter when he vanished last November.

Brancato hasn't been seen for more than four months now. He was last heard from on November 18.

So far police searches in the woods of Hyde Park and West Roxbury have turned up nothing.

"Think about how difficult this is for an entire family to wonder every single morning and every single night where this 21-year-old boy has gone," Nicole DaSilva, Brancato's cousin, told WBZ-TV in January.

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

The family says Brancato was living in Roslindale with Lipka around the time he disappeared.

Lipka has been in military custody in South Carolina for an unrelated case. Now Brancato's family says Lipka is back in Boston and has been arrested by Boston Police.

Police Commissioner William Evans said Lipka is facing a charge, but it is from a different case than Brancato's disappearance.

"He's the individual I think they've been looking at," Evans said on Sunday. "I think they're charging him with an old case where he pointed a gun at someone. Assault by means is what I believe they're charging him with."

Brancato's family is hoping the mystery of this marine recruit's disappearance can finally be solved.

"We're not going anywhere. We're gonna fight and we're gonna search and we're gonna drive people crazy until we figure out what happened to him," said DaSilva in January.

The Brancato family is offering a reward for any information leading to Joey's whereabouts.


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