LACOMBE, La. (WGNO)— It’s been five years since Nanette Krentel, the wife of former St. Tammany fire chief Stephen Krentel, was found dead with a gunshot wound within the ashes of her rural Lacombe that burned down. On Thursday, the anniversary of Krentel’s death, loved ones gathered outside the parish courthouse to honor her memory with hopes they will finally get the answers they’ve been searching for.
Krentel’s friends and family believe they know who is responsible for her death, however, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office never named a single suspect in the investigation. Two years ago, the homicide, now considered a cold case, was turned over to the District Attorney’s office.
“Whoever did this did such a great job of burning all the evidence and it’s making it harder for them to solve the case, but I just don’t feel like it is being given the investigation that it truly should be given,” said Lori Rando, a longtime friend of Krentel’s.
Rando says when she found out her friend’s home had caught fire, she was devastated.
“We’d spoken the night before and ironically we were talking about the high school days. When i got a message the evening of the 14th, I couldn’t believe it,” Rando explained.
Both the STPSO and DA’s office declined to comment when WGNO reached out on Thursday.
Kim Watson, Krentel’s sister, says loved ones haven’t heard much from investigators either, adding that the last update received from the DA’s office was that the investigation was essentially starting over from the beginning. Her family feels left in the dark.
“They can only go with what evidence they have,” Watson explained “I just wish I knew what that was, I wish I could see what evidence there was. But I hope they are getting what they need to figure something out.”