CANTON, Mass. (WHDH) — A body found along I-95 in Canton on Wednesday has been identified as a missing Marine recruit from Winthrop.

Joey Brancato, 21, had been missing since November 2017. He was last seen in Boston’s Roslindale section.

“I’m happy that we will be able to put him to rest and that his mother and father can sleep at night in peace,” said Andrea Brancato, the victim’s aunt. “I wasn’t going to stop until we found him.”

Massachusetts State Police and the Norfolk District Attorney’s office launched an investigation after the body was found Wednesday. Officials said the body was found by a person who had stopped to assist a distressed motorist on the southbound side of the highway near the I-93 interchange.

“I feel like that was Joey that pulled them over to that spot and that’s why they found him,” said Andrea Brancato.

Less than a day later, a positive identification was announced by the DA’s office. An autopsy performed Thursday did not immediately establish a cause or manner of death.

“They (investigators) called my brother and they asked for Joey’s dental records,” said Andrea Brancato. “He actually allowed them to communicate with the dentist.”

A Marine recruiter who has been called a “person of interest” in Brancato’s disappearance appeared in court Monday on what officials say were unrelated charges.

Frank Lipka was arrested after police said he waving a gun at a Domino’s delivery driver. The pizza shop’s owner said Lipka showed up angry and waving a gun because he was mad his order did not include hot dipping sauce.

Brancato had moved in with Lipka in Roslindale to work on his training.

Following Brancato’s disappearance, Lipka was arrested for DUI, then was in NCIS custody out of state on an unrelated issue. Lipka then flew back to Boston, where he was arrested on the gun charges. He pleaded not guilty Monday. The judge set bail at $10,000.

Brancato’s death remains under investigation pending further testing.

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