St. Tammany Sheriff Clears Fire Chief In Wife's Death

(WVUE/FOX 8) A day after the St. Tammany Parish Coroner ruled the death of the wife of a parish district fire chief a homicide, the parish sheriff announced Thursday that the main suspect in the case has been cleared of involvement in her death.

At a Slidell press conference Thursday morning, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith said parish detectives are still actively investigating the July 2017 death of Nanette Krentel but have cleared her husband, St. Tammany Fire District No. 12 Chief Stephen Krentel.

“At this time, our initial primary person of interest, the victim’s husband, has been cleared. Stephen Krentel has been fully cooperative with this investigation,” Smith said. “We have worked this case tirelessly and aggressively as a homicide since day one, and will continue to do so.”

Smith said the circumstances surrounding Krentel’s death and the intensity of the fire is making the investigation lengthy and difficult.

Smith also said detectives are still awaiting final lab results on evidence from the scene.

Just after Preston released the findings of three separate autopsies, Smith released a statement saying he did not “necessarily support the Coroner’s conclusion in this case.”

Smith said he was not disputing Preston’s findings and expert opinion regarding Krentel’s death, but he was concerned about the timing of the release of the autopsy results.

Smith said St. Tammany detectives will continue to work with the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office and the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office until all leads are exhausted.

“We will do everything in our power to bring justice for Nanette Krentel and closure to the family,” Smith said.

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Photo: Fox 8

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