Just five days after the lifeless body of 38-year-old Diana Keel was discovered in the North Carolina woods near her home, her husband, the prime suspect in the crime, has been arrested.
Police say 57-year-old Rexford Lynn Keel was apprehended without incident on Sunday morning after a routine traffic stop near Tucson, Arizona - just a few minutes north of the Mexico border.
“The Nash County Sheriff's Office said in a statement that Rexford Lynn Keel, 57, was taken into custody following a traffic stop on Interstate 10 near Tucson.
“The statement added that Keel had many bank receipts ‘and a large sum of money with him’ when he was arrested.”
“The body of Keel's wife, 38-year-old Diana Alejandra Keel, was found on March 12 by North Carolina Department of Transportation employees along a remote road about 30 minutes away from her home in Nashville.
Her death has been ruled a homicide, though officials have not said exactly how she died.”
Diana was reported missing on Friday, March 9th after she failed to show up for her job as a nurse at a local hospital. Her car remained parked in the couple's driveway during the entire time she was missing. Her body was finally discovered on Tuesday, March 14th.
From the beginning, Lynn Keel was considered a 'person of interest' but was not arrested until authorities captured him in Arizona on Sunday. An arrest warrant had been sworn out for Keel on Friday, charging him with first-degree murder.
Throughout 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 vow to take another look at the 13-year-old death.
"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.
Diana’s mother told WTVD that “her daughter had planned to divorce her husband, but she also told the station that Lynn Keel had threatened Diana.”
Authorities say that they received a tip that Keel was driving west along I-10 in Arizona; they were able to locate him from there.
“A lot of work put into this but it got a killer off the streets," Sheriff Keith Stone said at a news conference after the arrest.
Keel is being held in an Arizona jail and is awaiting extradition to North Carolina. No word has been released as to when that will happen.
For now, they are just glad that Keel is in custody.
Please join us in praying for Diana’s family, especially her ten-year-old son Max and her 18-year-old daughter Laura who will have some very difficult days ahead. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the children now that they have lost both parents.