Body found near interstate identified as Marine recruit missing since November

A motorist reportedly found the remains of a missing Marine recruit along the side of a road in Canton, Massachusetts, this week.

According to Fox News, an announcement Thursday from the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office indicated that the remains had been identified as those of Joseph Brancato.

The 21-year-old aspiring Marine had not been seen in four months.

When a driver pulled over to assist someone on the side of the road along Interstate 95 Wednesday, the individual reportedly saw Brancato’s remains discarded in a wooded area nearby.

An autopsy was reportedly performed Thursday, though authorities said a cause of death had not been determined.

As CrimeOnline reported in January, reports suggest Brancato, who lived in Winthrop, had been living in Roslindale with his military recruiter.

His cousin said at the time that “if Joey was alive and well he’d be home.”

While he was last seen alive on November 18, his loved ones became especially concerned when he did not show up for Thanksgiving.

Even as authorities transitioned from the rescue to recovery phase in their search for the missing man, his aunt and others in his family held out hope that he would be found alive.

“Joey, please come home,” Dawn Buccieri said. “I don’t care what happened, what went wrong. I will take you in a minute.”

Widespread searches included a wooded area in West Roxbury as well as a nearby pond, which a Naval Criminal Investigative Service source only confirmed was “just one ongoing investigative step looking for clues.”

[Featured image: Joseph Brancato/Boston Police Department]