Loved ones to say final farewells to Marine recruit Joey Brancato

Family and friends are preparing to say a final goodbye to Marine recruit Joey Brancato Tuesday evening.

A driver discovered Brancato’s body in the brush along Interstate 95 in Canton last Wednesday after Brancato went missing in November.

This marked a heartbreaking end after his loved ones held out hope for four months, praying he was still alive.

“I’m never gonna be the same. I lost my son. And I shouldn’t have lost my son. I loved him so much, I loved him,” cried Brancato’s mother Kim Brancato. “I still had a little bit of hope that Joey would walk through the doors.”

Loved ones will gather in Winthrop, where he grew up, for his funeral service. Visiting hours begin at 4 p.m. followed by the funeral at 7 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Brancato’s family says he had always wanted to be a Marine.

“His big thing is he wanted to be a Marine, that was his big thing and I guess he’s a Marine up in the skies now,” said Brancato’s grandmother Midge Lebaron.

Before he disappeared, Brancato was living in Roslindale with a Marine recruiter named Frank Lipka.

Prosecutors said in court that Lipka is a “person of interest” in Brancato’s death, after being arrested for an unrelated crime.

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