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Judge declares Brandy Hall legally dead

Brevard firefighter reported missing in 2006

The family of Brandy Hall hopes a Brevard County judge will officially declare her dead in probate court Tuesday, Local 6 news partner Florida Today reports.

Hall, a 32-year-old firefighter and mother of two, was last seen leaving the Malabar Fire Station close to 11 p.m. on Aug. 17, 2006. Her pickup truck with her blood inside was found the following day submerged in a pond near what was then Brevard Community College in Palm Bay.

Over the years, the police focused on Hall's husband, Jeffrey — a former Osceola County fire captain sentenced to prison the day her truck was found on drug charges — and Randall Richmond, a Palm Bay fire captain who later admitted to police that he was having an affair with Hall.

Jeffrey Hall has been officially cleared by police. Investigators can't say the same about Richmond, who police say they have more questions for. Police say phone records show Brandy Hall and Richmond spoke on the telephone for more than 10 minutes after she left the Malabar fire station that night nine years ago.

But police say they cannot compel Richmond to speak with them further, saying there is not a single piece of physical evidence that links him to Hall's disappearance.

"They are trying to get her declared as dead after this many years, which I think is a valid thing to do," said Palm Bay Detective Ernie Diebel, who has led the investigation for the last several years. "This is something that could have probably been done a few years ago. It can benefit her kids."

A backpack containing some of Hall's personal items was found in a canal in Vero Beach about a month after she disappeared. Later, one of her old fire helmets was found near Mather's Bridge in Indian Harbour Beach.

The hearing takes place at the Moore Justice Center in Viera before Circuit Judge Lisa Davidson at 4:15 p.m..