Aunt of Missing Marine Recruit Makes Emotional Plea for Nephew's Safe Return

Local and federal law enforcement conducted a search Friday on the Stony Brook Reservation in Boston's Hyde Park neighborhood for a marine recruit who went missing two months ago.

Boston police say Joseph Brancato was last seen by an acquaintance near Mendelsohn Street in the city's Roslindale neighborhood on Nov. 18, 2017.

The 21-year-old Winthrop native is described as being about 5'8", weighing approximately 200 pounds.

His aunt, Dawn Buccieri, says he went to live with a marine recruiter in hopes of getting ready for the armed services, but after moving into the Mendelssohn Street home, Brancato disappeared in November.

"Joey please come home. I don’t care what happened, what went wrong. I will take you in a minute."

Buccieri made an emotional plea Friday, hoping her nephew is still alive. 

She says her nephew's move into the recruiter's house didn’t sit right with any of his family.

"I guess the recruiter said, 'I can help you out. You can live in my basement.'"

All of Brancato's younger friends from Winthrop would say there’s something wrong. Something doesn’t seem right.

Brancato had always wanted to be a marine, but the family wasn’t so sure of him living with the recruiter.

His aunt told us the recruiter only spoke to them through text messages.

She says they knew something was wrong when the recruiter would keep pushing back Brancato's training start date.

Then, in November, they lost contact with Brancato.

"He’s like that big teddy bear that pretends to be a hard guy but he needs to speak with his grandmother, Mom, and Dad."

The Roslindale Marine Corps Recruiting Office is closed, with evidence tape covering the lock.

State troopers canvassed Hyde Park’s Turtle Pond in hopes of finding any clues. It's less than a mile away from where Brancato lived.

Buccieri is praying for a positive end to this two-month nightmare.

"I don’t think any family should have to go through it. I don’t know why somebody would hurt him. If he is hurt, like I said I’m still hoping he’s safe."

Brancato's family is not giving up. They plan to pass out flyers in the Roslindale neighborhood on Sunday. 

Boston police were assisted on scene Friday by Massachusetts State Police and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

An NCIS spokesperson said Friday's search was "just one ongoing investigative step looking for clues."

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