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Monday, July 2, 2007

[FL] If I was Fire Lt. Brandy Hall I would want someone living to ask

Fire Lt. Brandy Hall has been missing for almost a year. (See earlier post here.) The last day anyone saw her was the day before she was supposed to testify at her husband's trial - reportedly, in his behalf, as he faced charges and possible prison for a pot-growing operation. Here's an excerpt from an article about what the former Osceola County Fire Chief Jeff Hall said to the court:
...On Friday, Jeff Hall asked the court for mercy and talked about how he was a family man and needed to help care for his wife, who had a skull fracture. He did not give details about the fracture, such as when or how it happened. Jeff Hall's attorney also told the judge that Hall's wife was supposed to testify but he couldn't reach her that day...
Police search for Brevard firefighter, Orlando Sentinel, Denise-Marie Balona, August 20, 2006. The full article is no longer online but ask me for it and I'll send it.)
His cracked-skull comment is floating unconnected to anything I've read about him in the last ten months since it appeared in that article. As a mom myself, I have to ask here how he can say that in court to a judge, and there be never another mention of it? Jeff Hall has been back in view again, with news video that includes him emotionally reading their young daughter's letter to her missing mom. He says the children want her to come home. He's all choked up. He hopes, he says, that someone will come forward with information.


  1. Brandy's skull fracture was from a three wheeler accident she had when she was 11 years old. Her face was very sensitive and fragile. BUT you would never know it if you were around her. Except for maybe her scars. Throughout the years since her 3 wheeler accident she endured several facial surgeries without complaint. She was in constant pain every day. She never shirked or backed away from job or task. From her accident she felt the love and desire to help other people in need. She volunteered for Osceola County, where she met Jeff, her husband. She later became a fire fighter and went to work for the city of Palm Bay. She fulfilled her dream of becoming a firefighter, Her file folder of continuing education from the Palm Bay Fire was extremely thick. She was always advancing her education. Brandy was an extremely unique person. I feel blessed to have known her. It has been over a year and I still cannot forget. I wish there was more I could do to help her and her family.

  2. Thank you very much for posting that information. If Brandy was a working Fire Lt. why would her husband need to be home taking care of her skull fracture? I'm hoping maybe you know this also.

    I'm glad you came across this blog because I've been wondering about this for a long time -


  3. Firefighter's husband sent to jail
    October 11, 2007 12:00 PM

    The husband of missing Malabar firefighter Brandy Hall on Wednesday spent the first night of an 18-month stint behind bars for marijuana cultivation after an Osceola County judge denied requests to allow him more time with his children while police search for their mother.

    The decision by Judge John Morgan meant Jeffrey Hall, a former Osceola fire chief, was fingerprinted and booked into the county detention center following the hearing in a Kissimmee courtroom, officials said.

    The 44-year-old was turned over to state corrections to serve his sentence for growing marijuana on the 13-acre property he shared with his wife.

    The hearing also was the latest twist in the Brandy Hall case as Palm Bay police continue to search for clues in the firefighter's mysterious disappearance in the hours before Jeffrey Hall's initial sentencing on Aug. 18, 2006.

    Palm Bay police had hoped to talk with Jeffrey Hall, who is not considered a suspect in his wife's disappearance, before he was remanded to prison. He was out of custody on bond while attorneys argued he was forced to be a single parent to the couple's two small children. Detectives, with few leads to work on, maintained that Jeffrey Hall has refused to be interviewed about the case without being granted immunity.

    "There are questions that have never been answered," said Mike Pusatere, the lead detective on the Brandy Hall case. "Wanting a promise of immunity . . . it makes him appear he has something to hide or that he had something to do with her disappearance, but I don't think that's the case."

    Pusatere said that what he wants to know is whether Hall thinks the disappearance had anything to do with the marijuana case or anyone from the couple's past.

    Brandy Hall also was charged in the marijuana case, but the charges eventually were dropped.

    Kepler Funk, Jeffrey Hall's attorney, said his client talked freely with an agent from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement within days of the disappearance.

    "Mr. Hall told the complete truth and everything he knew in an effort to locate his missing wife," Funk said in a statement.

    Hall also coordinated search efforts and hired a private investigator to find his wife, Funk said.

    "The Palm Bay Police Department should focus their time and efforts on finding Brandy and not re-interviewing a person who is not a suspect."

    Pusatere remained adamant that Jeffrey Hall could help the case. "I think he can shed light and clear up some avenues of the investigation and clear up our focus," Pusatere said.

    Contact Gallop at 409-1422 or jdgallop@floridatoday.com.


    Florida Firefighter, Kids Prayed Before She Went Missing
    Orlando Sentine, on Firehouse.com
    Laurin Sellers
    Updated: 06-14-2007 11:11:56 AM

    Sep. 2 -- MALABAR, Fla. -- The last time Brandy Hall spoke to her children, it was to hear their prayers, her husband said.
    Taylor, 10, and Clayton, 5, called her at work at the Malabar Fire Department where she was a volunteer. It was about 9:30 p.m. Aug. 17.

    "Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep," they told her, going through their nightly ritual.

    An hour later, the 32-year-old mother walked out of the department, climbed into her green Chevrolet truck and disappeared.

    Hall's husband, Jeff, a former Osceola County fire chief, said Friday that he has no idea what happened to her.

    Despite going through the toughest time of their 13-year marriage, he said, their relationship was solid. In fact, he said, she had planned to be by his side the next morning while he was being sentenced in an Osceola courtroom for his role in a marijuana-growing operation.

    Brandy Hall also had been accused of participating in the illegal venture, and in December lost her job with the Palm Bay Fire Department because of it. But earlier this year, the most serious charges against her were dropped after her husband and another man pleaded guilty and said she knew nothing about the drug operation.

    "She was going to be there with me," Jeff Hall said of the sentencing. "When she didn't show up, I knew something was wrong. And I was scared to death."

    Police, who initially considered the case a missing-person investigation, now are calling it a probable homicide, but they have named no suspects.

    Still, Brandy Hall's anxious family and friends are trying not to think the worst.

    "If she was somebody I didn't know, I probably would say she's dead," said Julie Harrison, who has been close to the firefighter since they were teenagers. "Since she is my friend, I'd like to think she is coming home."

    Jeff Hall, 43, said he last saw his wife as she left for work Aug. 17.

    "Everything was fine," he said. "We hugged and said we loved each other."

    Working the late shift meant Brandy Hall would spend the night at the fire station and return to the couple's Malabar house in time to go with her husband to court the next morning.

    But as Brandy Hall worked on inventory, Malabar Fire Chief Joseph Gianantonio suggested she leave early.

    "Her husband's hearing was the next day, and I knew she was under a lot of stress so I told her to go home and get some rest," Gianantonio recalled.

    "She said she wasn't feeling well, that she had a stomach virus, and that she was concerned about how her husband's sentencing was going to go."

    At 10:45 p.m., Brandy Hall left the station.

    At 6 a.m., Jeff Hall called there looking for her. He mistakenly thought the sentencing had been moved from 1 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. and needed his wife to hurry home. One of the firefighters told him she had left but failed to mention that she had been gone for hours.

    Jeff Hall said he dropped the children off at school and, when his wife didn't show up at the house, headed to Osceola County without her.

    He said he was driving into St. Cloud about 9:30 a.m. when he received word that she had left the fire station nearly 12 hours earlier.

    Hall went to court and received an 18-month prison sentence for the drug operation that police said generated about $250,000 a year. About the same time, some of his wife's firefighter gear floated to the top of a murky pond in south Brevard County. A fisherman found it and contacted authorities.

    "They told me they found Brandy's name on the inside of the coat," Gianantonio said. "I'm thinking, 'What the heck is going on?' "

    Her cooler was found nearby bobbing in the water, and there was a suspicious oil slick. Within hours, Brandy Hall's bloodstained pickup was discovered on the bottom, 20 feet below the surface.

    During the next few days, police drained most of the pond looking for her body, while a search-and-rescue team from South Florida combed the surrounding woods just south of Brevard Community College's Palm Bay campus.

    Police said they might return to the pond Tuesday and are considering adding a chemical to the water to clarify it enough for divers to search more effectively. During their investigation, officers broke into Brandy Hall's locker at the Malabar fire station looking for evidence.

    Instead, they found photos of Jeff and the children, Gianantonio said. She even kept a picture of the children taped inside her firefighter's helmet.

    Jeff Hall, who's appealing his conviction and was released from jail Aug. 21 on $25,000 bond, said Friday that he has talked to the children about their mother's disappearance.

    "This has been heart-wrenching," he said. "Kids are not stupid. They know exactly what's going on."

    He said he told them she might be in the pond or that maybe she ran away.

    But Brandy Hall's closest friends and fellow firefighters doubt the latter.

    After a yearlong struggle, things finally were falling into place, they said.

    "She was trying to get her job back with Palm Bay, and she had started a landscaping business," Gianantonio said. "I remember her just telling me she could see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    "She said, 'Look, I'm in debt up to my ears, but give us a year, and this will all be behind us,' " he said.

    But mainly, Brandy Hall wouldn't run off and leave her two children, friends said.

    "She loves those kids more than anything," said Cher Tyler, 35. "She would have taken them with her."



  4. https://www.facebook.com/BrandyHallMissingFireFighter?ref=br_tf


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