LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Debrah Lucas has been missing since 2010, and though her body has yet to be found, police said they're confident the Louisville woman is dead.

Lucas' family members went to court on Thursday morning hoping to make it official.

Judge Sandra McLaughlin questioned a detective from LMPD's missing persons unit during the hearing. Det. Ann Hogan, who was joined at the witness table by Lucas' father, told McLaughlin that Lucas is presumed dead.

Lucas was last seen in September 2010 by her boyfriend leaving their home on M Street.

"He claims that he was on the front porch and saw her get into a dark car," Lucas' father said.

Since then, LMPD and family members have searched high and low.

"I thought maybe it would be a day or maybe a couple of days, but I didn't think it would be going into years," said Lucas' daughter Kelly Pinnick during a 2013 interview. "Inside of me, I want to believe she is out there alive."

Even after the case went cold, LMPD continued to look for Lucas and clues. That included doing signs-of-life checks as recently as this week.

"The homicide united did investigate it thoroughly at that time," Hogan said during Thursday's court hearing. "One of those includes requesting ... an updated criminal history from NCIC, and that criminal history showed no activity since she was reported missing."

So after years of waiting, family members asked the court to help put Debrah Lucas to rest. And after 17 years , McLaughlin gave the family the painful closure they've been waiting for.

"The court is satisfied, by a preponderance of the evidence or by clear and convincing evidence that in fact, Debrah Ann Lucas is dead."

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