CANTON, Mass. — Remains found near a Massachusetts highway have been identified as those of a Marine recruit whose disappearance has been under investigation by police.

The Norfolk district attorney’s office said Thursday the body found a day earlier is that of 21-year-old Joseph Brancato. The office says an autopsy performed Thursday hasn’t established the cause of his death.

A person who stopped to help a motorist in distress on the southbound portion of Interstate 95 on Wednesday spotted the remains in the woods off the highway.

Brancato was from the North Shore but was living in Roslindale at the time of his disappearance. He was last seen in November.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.