PALM BAY, Fla. – Thirteen years after firefighter Brandy Hall went missing, the Palm Bay police are still actively working to solve her mystery disappearance while Brandy's mother hangs onto hope.
According to News 6 partner Florida Today, on Friday, Sgt. Jeff Spears along with two crime scene technicians, two cadaver dogs, a private investigator, Brandy's mother Debbie Rogge and an employee of Young's Communication or Y-COM spent the day searching three different places of interest for Brandy's remains with ground-penetrating radar.
And they may have hit paydirt as the cadaver dogs reacted positively to one of the locations that was also identified by the ground-penetrating radar as a potential gravesite. A dig will soon follow.
"Palm Bay Police Chief Nelson Moya and the Palm Bay Police Department are committed to solving cold cases and working diligently to bring closure to unsolved investigations," Spears said while navigating marshy terrain and mosquitoes. "Today we're out looking for Brandy Hall and ironically tomorrow marks the 13th anniversary since Brandy's disappearance and we're hoping for some good news. We're hoping to put closure to this case and locate Brandy."
With a new set of eyes recently assigned to the cold case for Palm Bay police and new information unearthed by private investigator Nic Sandberg, three locations were identified as potential gravesites. Cadaver dogs supplied by Peace River Canine Search and Rescue were set out on each location.
"We're excited to find articles of interest or remains," said Sandberg, who is working for Brandy's mother pro bono. "The dogs are doing phenomenally out here. We've had a couple of alerts and so we're checking them out."
Brandy Hall was a 32-year-old mother of two when she drove away from the Malabar Fire Station the night of Aug. 17, 2006, never to be seen by loved ones again.
Her husband Jeff Hall was due to be sentenced the following day for running a marijuana grow operation that resulted in Brandy's arrest as well and her dismissal from the Palm Bay Fire Department. Serious charges against her were eventually dropped and she was volunteering in Malabar as she sought to win her old job back.
She was also having an affair with then-married fire Capt. Randall Richmond at the time of her disappearance. He is also the last person known to have spoken with Brandy. Her children were 10 and 5 years old when she disappeared. Brandy's truck, with her blood inside the cab, was discovered the following day submerged in a pond in Palm Bay.
Brandy's mother, Debbie Rogge, can't help but feel optimistic about "bringing Brandy home." She often pointed at the heavens Friday while verbally asking God to "please let something be found today."
In a bit of good fortune, Rogge was driving with Sandberg Thursday when they spotted a Y-COM truck with a lawnmower-like machine on it that happened to be ground-penetrating radar. They immediately drove to Y-COM where it turned out Rogge has known the Young family -- who own Y-COM -- for years.
That was when owner Steve Young donated the use of his equipment to the cause.
"Y-COM is pleased to assist in any manner that will help bring closure to this tragic event," Young said. "We hope that it will bring some peace to Brandy‘s family and friends."