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.”  

MORE: Amanda Knox, OJ Simpson and Our Fascination With True Crime

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.