Sheriff: Fire chief cleared in wife's death, investigation is ongoing

Backs off dispute with coroner

Don Ames
September 14, 2017 - 10:42 am

St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith announced Thursday Fire Chief Steve Krentel has been cleared in the investigation into his wife's July death.

Smith also said he was not disputing the parish coroner's ruling of a homicide, but was instead concerned about the timing of the announcement because of pending lab results.

Nanette Krentel's body was found in the rubble after a fire destroyed her home north of Lacombe on Friday, July 7.  Coroner's Office investigators have treated the case as a homicide from the beginning, but due to the extent of damage to the remains, significant examination was required in addition to the initial autopsy.

The coroner's office ruled this week it was a homicide and that Krentel did not die because of the fire in the home. Three separate autopsies were done on Nanette Krentel.

The sheriff  says the intensity of the fire has made it difficult and a lengthy investigation and detectives are still awaiting lab results and evidence in the case. 

Sheriff Smith said at this time the victim's husband, Steven Krentel, has been cleared, and he said he has been fully cooperative in the case since the beginning.  

Detectives continue to work hand in hand with the fire investigators and the St. Tammany Parish Coroner's office until all leads are exhausted.  The investigation continues.


Click for more from the coroner and to listen to his interview with WWL First News...

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