Husband sought in wife's murder


Lynn Keel


Staff Writer

Saturday, March 16, 2019

A Nash County man was on the lam late Friday night wanted in the brutal death of his wife.

Lynn Keel, 57, has been charged with first-degree murder of 38-year-old Diana Alejandra Keel who leaves behind a teenage daughter and 10-year-old son.

Known as Ali to her friends, Diana Keel was reported missing last week. She was last seen alive at her Nashville home. Her badly injured and decomposing body was discovered Tuesday along a rural road in Edgecombe County.

The manhunt for Lynn Keel is expanding statewide. Authorities describe Keel, whose full legal name is Rexford Lynn Keel Jr., as being a white man with blonde hair and blue eyes. He's 5 feet, 10 inches tall.

"Keel is believed to be operating a 1998 Chevrolet C/K Pickup 1500 possibly pewter/gold color with North Carolina registration plate BBM-9232," said Chief Deputy Brandon Medina.

The murder investigation spans three counties. She lived in Nash County, worked as an emergency room nurse in Wilson County and her body was located in Edgecombe County.

Lynn Keel was named as a person of interest in his wife's disappearance and death almost immediately. He was interviewed by detectives then let go Tuesday night, the same day his wife's body was found with severe injuries to her head.

Lynn Keel’s first wife, 42-year-old Elizabeth Bess Edwards Keel, died of head trauma in 2006 after Lynn Keel said she fell down a set of steps and hit her forehead. The fatal incident occurred at the same house on Old County Home Road.

Lynn Keel married Diana less than a year after his first wife died, bringing her here from Latin America.

Detectives suspected foul play when family and coworkers at Wilson Medical Center said Diana Keel never went more than a day without communicating.

Based on that information, deputies borrowed cadaver dogs from Greenville police to search for the missing woman.

Authorities responded to the Keel home in the past for domestic issues.

During a Wednesday press conference, Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone asked anyone who might have video footage of any highways or roads in the area where Diana Keel's body was discovered to contact his detectives.

Medina confirmed Friday that investigators had received videos of locations in both Nash and Edgecombe counties and were reviewing them for evidence.

Anyone with information about the investigation can call the Nash County Sheriff’s Office at 252-459- 4121 or Twin County Crime Stoppers at 252-977-1111.