The St. Tammany Parish Coroner has ruled the death of the fire chief’s wife in July, as a homicide. The body of Nanette Krentel, wife of Fire District 12 Chief Stephen Krentel, was discovered in the rubble of the couple’s home which had burned to the ground on July 14th. Coroner Charles Preston said it was determined from the start Mrs. Krentel died from a gunshot wound.
"It is our belief that she was dead before the fire was started," said Preston.
The Sheriff’s Office said in a media advisory that it does not necessarily support the coroner’s conclusion, and will provide an update on the investigation during a news conference tomorrow. Preston says, following an initial autopsy, the remains were sent to the LSU FACES Lab.
"I think they did an excellent job of reconstructing the skull to give us an an idea of what the exit wound looked like," said Preston.
Preston says three autopsies were conducted on the body, and those along with the report from LSU all reached the same conclusion. He says they wanted to give this case the utmost attention and thoroughness.
"There are a lot of moving parts and this is a very complex investigation," said Preston. "But essentially the Coroner's work is done once we've established the cause and manner of death."