EXCLUSIVE: 'Killing Fields' Season 2 Focuses on Detectives' Commitment to Solve 1997 Cold Case

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Killing Fields is
back! And detectives Rodie Sanchez and Aubrey St. Angelo are still hard at
work, trying to solve the 1997 homicide of former Louisiana State University
student Eugenie Boisfontaine.

Shot in real time, the first season of Discovery Channel’s
true-crime docuseries followed Sanchez as he partnered with St. Angelo to
finally bring justice to Boisfontaine’s family 20 years later. Unfortunately,
despite several breaks in the case, Boisfontaine’s murder remained unsolved by
the end of the first six episodes.

“It was definitely a disappointment that we didn’t get
further in the first season,” co-executive producer Tom Fontana (Homicide: Life on the Street) tells ET
ahead of season two, which premieres Tuesday, Jan. 3. (Watch an exclusive clip from the premiere above.) “But in the second, we
pick up the case and things start moving along.”

MORE: 'Killing Fields' Season 2 Finds Links to Other Unsolved Cases

“For us, this is very real. It’s the way police procedures
really work,” Fontana continues, adding that crimes don’t get solved in 46
minutes, which TV audiences are used to seeing on their favorite cop
. “They take a long time. This is a cold case, so it’s got even more
problems working against it. But the detectives are so wonderfully determined.”

Aside from audiences’ fascination with true crime -- a genre
that exploded last year
-- the detectives are the real draw on Killing Fields. “To see their genuine
commitment to solving the crime is really fun to watch,” Fontana says. In fact,
it’s these real-life characters that the Emmy-winning producer is most excited
to explore in season two. “I have to say, character beats out plot every time.”

While there was some discussion about moving the show to another city and focusing on another unsolved crime, Fontana felt it was important to stay in Iberville Parish with Sanchez and St. Angelo as they continue to work on Boisfontaine’s unsolved murder. “And it’s paid off,” he says.

Not only do the detectives continue working on the 1997 cold case, but they also investigate other crimes, including a terrifying case of a body stuffed inside a barrel, which is possibly linked to an unsolved disappearance from 26 years ago. It also happens to be a case that Sanchez previously worked on. “The effect of that wouldn’t be as awesome if we didn’t know who Rodie was at this point,” Fontana says.

“For me, it’s about seeing these men and women and getting to know them all the more,” Fontana says of season two, which will go deeper into the lives of these Louisiana detectives and investigators -- and hopefully bring closure to these unsolved cases.

Killing Fields airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Discovery Channel.