EXCLUSIVE: An Arrest on 'Killing Fields' Leaves One Detective Contemplating Retirement

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Detective Rodie Sanchez just has one message for Tommy Francise, who has finally been arrested in connection to the homicide of Curtis “Cochise” Smith in the season two finale of Killing Fields: “Your time’s expired.”

In ET’s first look at the final episode, Francise’s arrest brings the 1991 cold case one step closer to being closed. Now, it’s up to the Iberville Parish authorities to make sure the case is ready to go to trial, where they hope a grand jury will indict Francise on two counts of second-degree murder for the homicides of Smith as well as George Barrett.

“Finally closing these cases and bringing justice would mean so much to the whole sheriff’s department. It would also be a tremendous weight off my shoulders,” Sanchez tells ET. The longtime detective, who came out of retirement to finally solve the 1997 murder of former Louisiana State University student Eugenie Boisfontaine in season one, is contemplating a permanent end to his career. “If we could solve both cases, this would be the best ending to a career that I could ever imagine.  The most important thing in my career is to provide closure to these families.”  

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Yet, Boisfontaine’s homicide still remains a mystery. The central focus of season one of Discovery Channel’s true-crime docuseries, Sanchez and his new partner Det. Aubrey St. Angelo were unable to make an arrest in the case -- and still haven’t gotten any closer to solving it.

“These victims are somebody’s loved ones. And they need to find out who is responsible and know they’ve been put away and will never harm anyone else,” Sanchez says. “It’s what these families deserve. We’re just one small part in bringing closure to them.  It takes a lot of man hours and hard work to solve any case, especially cold cases.” 

It also takes a lot of patience and commitment. Ahead of season two, executive producer Tom Fontana explained that unlike scripted police procedurals, like Law & Order: SVU or others audiences watch on TV, crimes are not solved in 45 minutes. In the case of Smith, who first went missing in 1991, it took 26 years to finally make an arrest, and for Boisfontaine, it’s now been 20 years without an answer.

“These families deserve that closure no matter what it takes,” Sanchez adds. “And that’s why I get up in the morning and am able to sleep at night with the hopes of that’s what I’ll do.”

Killing Fields season two finale airs tonight at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Discovery Channel.