ST. TAMMANY - New details are starting to emerge about the death of a Northshore fire chief's wife.
"I look forward to the sheriff's office finally releasing something speaking of the cooperation I've given them because there's a lot of speculation that I have not cooperated," said Steve Krentel, in an exclusive interview with WWL-TV.
Thursday, Krentel, who says he has barely been given the chance to mourn the loss of his wife, Nanette, got what he was hoping for.
"At this time, our initial primary person of interest in this investigation, the victim's husband, has been cleared," said St. Tammany Sheriff Randy Smith, "Stephen Krentel has been cooperative with this investigation from the beginning."
"Now maybe the case can be solely about Nanette," said Krentel, "Not the sheriff. Not the coroner, not me. It can focus on her."
Smith described the investigation into Nanette's murder on July 14 as "very difficult due to the intensity of the fire" that burned the couple's Lacombe home to the ground, with her, shot in the head, inside. Also Thursday, the State Fire Marshal's Office confirmed they believe the fire was intentionally set, but would not classify it as an arson.
Meanwhile, the St. Tammany Coroner's Office confirmed the pets found in the fire with Nanette, we're told two cats and a dog, underwent necropsies at LSU. The results of how they died have been received, but aren't being released at this time. Court documents, filed by the family to get an independent autopsy done on Nanette, indicate the animals were shot too.
At Thursday's press conference on the case, Smith also clarified his Wednesday statement, following the St. Tammany Coroner's homicide determination, that he disagreed with that conclusion.
"We have worked this case, and we will continue to work this case tirelessly and aggressively, as a homicide and we have since day one," said Smith.
Hours later, Nanette's father, Dan Watson, walked out of the St. Tammany Courthouse victorious in receiving a six-month-long restraining order on all of the agencies involved in the investigation, forcing them to preserve all of their evidence and materials.
That was a precautionary request by Watson as he says his concerns over the handling of his daughter's death case continue to grow.
"My greatest fear at this point is that there are no suspects, but they haven't done the reports," he said, "Normally, where I come from, you don't release anybody unless you have all of the information complete, including the reports."
"It just has a really bad feel to it," said Watson, "My fear is that this is going to be, they're going to stall and not do anything and then eventually it will be pushed under the rug and we won't know."
Law enforcement is asking the public for any tips in this case that may be out there. You can call those in anonymously to Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111. Family and supporters continue to seek prayers and financial contributions for their own investigative efforts through Facebook page "Justice for Nanette."
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