While it was in the early hours of December 31, 2019, that Chad Entzel lost his life, his remains were unfortunately only recovered from his burning home around the evening of January 2, 2020. Though the worst part of it all, as carefully examined in ABC’s ’20/20: The Last Strike,’ is that his second wife, Nikki Entzel, and her new boyfriend, Earl Howard, were the ones to have slain him. Yet for now, if you simply wish to learn more about the individuals this 42-year-old was essentially forced to leave behind — his warm, loving, caring family — we’ve got the necessary details for you.
Who is Chad Entzel’s Family?
Born on March 31, 1977, in the small town of Halliday, North Dakota, Chad was admittedly the proud son of stay-at-home Deborah “Deb” Isaak and veteran turned farmer Ernest “Ernie” Entzel. He thus had a very happy, stable upbringing alongside his elder sister Lori Entzel (Kraus), reportedly leading to the entire family being one another’s support system at every step of the way. In fact, once he’d decided to relocate to Bismarck for good in order to establish a different life for himself near the year 2000, his parents as well as sister were unwaveringly the most encouraging.
For the longest time, this trio held the highest significance in Chad’s life, but then there was one other person who gradually made her way into his heart — his first wife, Susan “Susie” Entzel. It’s actually unclear precisely how this couple first met and established their long-term romance, yet public records do indicate they’d parted ways in 2014 or 2015 owing to personal differences. Nevertheless, they remained on good terms despite not even having any children together, as made evident by the fact she vehemently defended him during his second wife’s murder trial in 2022.
The truth is when Nikki was accused of having a hand in Chad’s brutal homicide back in January 2020 itself, she’d alleged her husband of nearly four years was an extremely abusive alcoholic. However, from the moment Susie took the stands for the prosecutors around the fall of 2022, she maintained her late ex neither drank a lot nor was he violent in any manner throughout their association. She did state she believes people can change in five years but added she doesn’t think it could be to such an extent that he would end up being an entirely different, callous individual.
Where is Chad Entzel’s Family Now?
Although Susie had publicly testified, she actually prefers to lead a quiet life well away from the public eye, so all we know is that she still resides in Bismarck and goes by Susie Dawn these days. Coming to Chad’s sister, the Minot State University graduate currently serves as a Safety Professional at KLJ Engineering, all the while keeping him as well as his memories alive in her heart. We should also mention Lori is a married woman — she’s been with her partner Rick Kraus for nearly two decades, with whom she shares two young boys and a home in Lincoln, North Dakota.
As for Chad’s parents, while his father Ernie sadly passed away at the age of 64 in June 2014, his mother Deb continues to live in Lincoln, where she is a ray of sunshine for those around her. Though it’s imperative to note she did give victim impact statements during both Earl as well as Nikki’s sentencing hearing to ensure his, her, and the entire family’s voices were heard.
She asked the former, “How could you do such a cruel thing to another person that you didn’t even know, that did nothing to you?” before adding he’d “taken the joy out of our lives” by causing a “wound so deep it will never, ever heal… A mother should never outlive their child.” Then, to her former daughter-in-law, she made it clear that “the hurt and the pain that the loss of my son Chad is unbearable. It is a wound that will never heal.”
Read More: Chad Entzel Murder: How Did He Die? Who Killed Him?