It was not the ending that everyone was praying for. When Diana Alejandra Keel went missing on Saturday after failing to show up for work, family members tried to keep their hopes up that the 38-year-old mother of two would return, safe.
But it wasn’t to be.
The story came to a heartbreaking conclusion when Diana's body was discovered in a North Carolina woods just 30 miles from her home.
"Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone says the body found in Edgecombe County is that of missing woman Diana Alejandra Keel, of Nash County. Foul play is the cause and this is a homicide investigation, he says."
The deceased was first reported missing by her daughter on March 7th.
Things didn’t seem right from the beginning.
Her employer told authorities she had not shown up for work the previous few days and her car was still parked at her home. Holding a very responsible job as an emergency room nurse, it wasn’t like Diana to just vanish without telling anyone.
Then, when she didn’t come home the next day people began to worry.
During the course of the investigation into Diana’s disappearance, suspicions fell on her husband, Lynn Keel. Included in their research was the 2006 case in which Keel’s first wife, Elizabeth died under suspicious circumstances.
Although Elizabeth's death from ‘blunt trauma to the head’ (due to a fall on the front steps of their home) was eventually ruled ‘accidental,’ there are those who still think that Keel was somehow involved. Now, with the disappearance and death of wife number two, investigators are definitely eyeing Rexford ‘Lynn’ Keel.
"The 2006 incident was also reported to have occurred at the same address as the current missing person with regards to Diana Alejandra Keel,’ the news release said.
"Dr. Dourty of the medical examiner’s office conducted the forensic autopsy. Dr. Dourty declared the death of Elizabeth Edward Keel as an accidental death based on the blunt trauma to the head from falling and striking her forehead on the corner of the Keel’s front concrete steps of their home."
Rexford 'Lynn' Keel, Diana's husband was the last person to have seen her alive. That was on Friday morning, yet he never reported her missing. Now Mr. Keel is being questioned as a 'person of interest' in what they describe as a "murder investigation."
In their official news release on Facebook, Nash County Sheriff's Office described the situation.
“A forensic autopsy was completed today at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, NC on the body of the female located outside the Town of Leggett in Edgecombe County.
“The body has been positively identified as 38-year old Diana Alejandra Keel, who had been reported missing on March 9, 2019.
“Family members of Diana Alejandra Keel were first notified of the positive identification before the information was released to the media during a live press conference held at the Nash County Sheriff’s Office.”
Then, the sheriff went on to talk about Diana’s children.
“The most difficult aspect of this case is a ten-year-old son and an eighteen-year-old daughter are without their mother,” said Sheriff Keith Stone.
Her daughter had made an appeal on social media when her mother first went missing.
“…this is insane..you see this happen to everyone else and you don’t think it’s every [sic] going to happen to you
“You guys, my mom is missing…if you see or hear anything please please let me know. And please please retweet this. Help me get the word out. Thank you.”
“Victim’s husband, Lynn Keel, remains a ‘person of interest’ in the case along with others. Keel was released after questioning last night, the sheriff calls him ‘very cooperative.’”
Friends and family report the couple had a ‘difficult’ marriage, some alleging abuse.
Diana’s good friend, Taryn Edwards, claims that she always had concerns. That he was abusive and Diana wanted to leave him.
Taryn Edwards said Lynn Keel wouldn't let his wife be alone with anyone.
"The verbal and emotional abuse was evident to me as a friend," Edwards said. “The atmosphere of the house was always really tense. He hovered a lot, never allowed her to be alone with anybody for extended periods of time."
Nash County Sheriff's office says that Rexford Lynn Keel was released after questioning and was NOT charged. Time will tell if that is going to change.
The Sheriff refused to give further details about the condition of Diana Alejandra Keel’s body in order to preserve the integrity of the active murder investigation.
"This murder investigation is still ongoing by the detectives of the Nash County Sheriff’s Office. Any information related to this missing person investigation can be relayed to the Nash County Sheriff’s Office at (252) 459- 4121 or Twin County Crime Stoppers at (252) 977-1111."
Please join us in praying for Diana's ten-year-old son and her 18-year-old daughter. This is a traumatic event for them and they will need all the love and support they can get over the coming weeks and years.