http://www.local6.com/news/17121098/detail.htmlPolice: Helmet Not Linked To Disappearance
Item Found Month Ago By Fishermen
POSTED: 11:48 am EDT August 7, 2008
UPDATED: 1:40 pm EDT August 7, 2008
PALM BAY, Fla. -- A weathered firefighter's helmet found by fishermen a month ago has become the latest focus of detectives in the nearly 2-year-old case of missing Malabar firefighter Brandy Hall.
The Osceola County Fire Department helmet was found at an Indian Harbour Beach marina near Mathers Bridge -- a popular spot for fishermen, Local 6 News partner Florida Today first reported.
But Palm Bay detectives are unsure if the helmet could be linked to the disappearance of the one-time Osceola firefighter who was last seen Aug. 17, 2006. Hall, a 32-year-old mother of two, was last seen on surveillance video footage walking out of the Malabar Fire Department headquarters.
Police said the helmet was discovered last month on the side of the road next to the Tel Mar Bay Marina in Indian Harbour Beach. A firefighter from Orange County who was in the area recognized it as belonging to the Osceola County Fire Department and returned it to the agency. Realizing it may belong to the missing firefighter, the helmet was turned over to Kissimmee Police who then contacted Palm Bay detectives. According to a police interview with Hall's husband, the helmet was kept in the couple's shop in West Melbourne, which is the last place it was seen.
Detectives said on Thursday morning they don't believe the helmet, or its recent discovery, is in any way connected to Hall's disappearance in August 2006.
"It's not a significant development," said Detective Mike Pusatere. "But we still had to rule out any suspicions that it may be connected."
On the two-year anniversary of Brandy Hall's disappearance, family and friends are planning a "celebration" instead of a vigil for Brandy at the park next to Malabar Volunteer Fire Department from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
The case has generated a number of tips for Palm Bay police detectives but none that have led to Hall, who worked for the Osceola Fire Department in the late 80s was married to the county's top firefighter, Jeff Hall. Last year, Jeff Hall was sentenced to 18 months in state prison in connection with a marijuana growing operation discovered at the couple's Holopaw property.
On Aug. 18, 2006, Brandy Hall's truck -- with blood on the front seat -- was pulled from a pond near Brevard Community College's Palm Bay campus after a fisherman spotted firefighting gear floating nearby.