Discovery Of Charred Body Of Fire Chief’s Wife Sparks Hunt For Her Killer

Once the flames were put out, the mystery of who murdered Nanette Krentel was just beginning.

November 02, 2018

Nanette Krentel [St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office handout]

Nanette Krentel [St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office handout]

By: Aaron Rasmussen

LACOMBE, LA — At around 2:30 P.M. on July 14, 2017, a child riding her bike noticed smoke pouring from a house in Lacombe, a rural town located 50 miles from New Orleans. The girl called 911 and firefighters rushed to the scene.

It would emerge that the devastating fire was unique for a number of reasons, the first being that the property belonged to the fire chief, Steve Krentel, who made it from the station to his home in just 13 minutes that afternoon.

Then, when the fire was finally doused, firefighters combing through the wreckage discovered the burnt remains of 49-year-old Nanette Krentel, their boss’ wife.

“I was in total, complete shock,” Steve, 50, said of discovering his spouse of 22 years was dead.

Loved ones would be in for even more surprise after a coroner determined Nanette wasn’t just the victim of a tragic accident — she had been murdered. An autopsy revealed Nanette had been shot in the head and was dead before the blaze even erupted.

“We have a family that’s looking for answers. We have investigators that are looking for answers,” said St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office Captain Scott Lee. The case quickly became a “priority” for detectives to solve.

But as investigators dug deeper into the mystery, they had a lot more questions than answers, including why Nanette had withdrawn and become paranoid and reclusive in the days leading up to her death.

“After this happened I said, ‘We can’t let this go,’ ” said Nanette’s close friend, Lori Rando. “Nanette wouldn’t let it go until she found out who did this and make them pay.”

The answer, it turned out, wouldn’t be so easy to find. Can you figure out who killed Nanette and why?

Tune in to find out more about the hunt for Nanette’s killer on the premiere episode of the new season of People Magazine Investigates, airing Monday, November 5 at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery!

Read more: People, The Advocate

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