ST. TAMMANY - The family of a fire chief's wife, who was found shot to death in her burning home, says she was being threatened prior to her death.
Nanette Krentel's father and sister revealed the new information in a recent interview in their hometown in Iowa.
Krentel's body was found in her burned Lacombe home on July 14. Three autopsies determined she died from a gunshot wound to the head and had no soot in her lungs from the fire. The State Fire Marshal's Office says the fire was intentionally set.
Now, Krentel's family says Nanette lived in fear in the weeks leading up to her death.
"She had been getting some threats and wasn't feeling safe, didn't want dad to come down to visit," said her sister Kim Watson, "I tried to get her to come here, you know, bring your pets, come visit awhile, just until you feel like you're safe down there. 'Oh, I'm fine as long as I'm in my house.'"
Family members say those threats came from her brother-in-law, Brian Krentel, and included warnings of rape, murder and burning the house down. Nanette's father, Dan Watson, says Brian was angry with Nanette and Fire Chief Steve Krentel over a belief that they contributed to him being sent to prison. Watson says his daughter became so fearful of her brother-in-law that she refused to go to her mother-in-law's home where he lived, and the stress of the situation caused a strain in the marriage. Steve Krentel tells Eyewitness News, "After discussing her fears many times, we addressed all concerns to the best of our abilities. That is why she was comfortable at home."
Watson says the threats were made through various mediums, including text messages, that have been turned over to authorities. However, they say they've been told authorities have cleared Brian due to ankle monitor records. The St. Tammany Sheriff's Office announced two weeks ago that it cleared Steve Krentel in the case.
When asked about the family's latest comments on the case, the sheriff's office would only maintain that it would not release any additional information in the case.