No passport, no release. That's the ruling of a district court judge to a former U.S. Marine recruiter being investigated in connection with the death of one of his recruits.
Andrea Brancato and her whole family have been struggling all year long. Her nephew, Joey Brancato, was found dead two months ago on the side of I-95 in Canton after he had been missing since November.
Andrea and her family believe Frank Lipka, Joey's Marine recruiter, is the key to learning what happened to Joey.
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"He was the last person to be seen with Joey. He never, ever, ever helped look for my nephew. We asked him, we begged him, my brother sent him messages, we went to his door, we sent out flyers. He had my phone number from day one. He never reached out. That to me says guilty," said Brancato.
Lipka is held on $10,000 bail in an unrelated assault and gun case. He has the bail money, but his passport is still on a Marine base in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He needs to surrender that passport to the district court before he can be released.
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The judge rejected a move by Lipka's lawyer to release him now with the promise of producing the passport later, so Lipka remains behind bars.
"Because Frank has a history of violence, and he's unpredictable, I don't think they should have released him. And they didn't. I think they did the right thing," said Brancato.
Lipka was indicted in the assault case and his arraignment date has not been set.
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