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Marine Corps recruiter tied to missing recruit held without bail in another case

By MARIE SZANISZLO | Boston Herald | Published: August 3, 2018

BOSTON, Mass. (Tribune News Service) — A 39-year-old former Marine recruiter being called a “person of interest” by police in the disappearance of a young recruit whose body was found in March off a highway in Canton was held without bail yesterday in connection with an assault in Roslindale.

Suffolk Superior Court Judge William Sullivan revoked Frank W. Lipka’s $10,000 bail after he violated his house arrest.

Lipka, who served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, is charged with assault by means of a dangerous weapon and illegal possession of ammunition in connection with an incident in which authorities say he flashed a gun at a pizza delivery driver in Roslindale last year.

He was arrested by Boston police March 23 at Logan International Airport two days after he was released from military custody. He had been held by the U.S. Marine Corps on charges of drunken driving, absence without authorization from work and an altercation with two Marines in his unit, a spokesman said.

Boston police Sgt. Detective John Boyle said Lipka also remains a person of interest in the disappearance of Joseph “Joey” Brancato, a 21-year-old Marine Corps recruit whose remains were discovered off Interstate 95 South in Canton by a motorist who’d pulled into the breakdown lane March 28.

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Brancato’s family said he had moved in with Lipka last August in Roslindale and was waiting to report to basic training at Parris Island when he vanished in mid-November.

“Sometimes it takes a while, but the answers are there,” his grandmother, Mildred LeBaron, said yesterday. “If (Lipka) is involved in any way, I’m just hoping that justice prevails.”

LeBaron described her grandson as a “nice boy who didn’t deserve to die and be left in the woods like that.”

“I lost my son, and losing Joey just opened up all those old wounds,” she said. “I’m heartbroken without that boy.”

Lipka is due back in court on Sept. 12.

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