N.C. Husband Wanted for Murder Is Missing After Investigators Identify His Wife’s Body: Sheriff
Nearly a week after 38-year-old emergency room nurse Diana Alejandra Keel was reported missing, authorities said they have found her body and her husband is wanted for murder.
On Friday, the Nash County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina said that they had obtained a first-degree murder warrant for Rexford Lynn Keel Jr., her 57-year-old husband.
Authorities said that his whereabouts are currently unknown, though he is believed to be driving a 1998 Chevrolet pickup truck, possibly in a pewter or gold color, with North Carolina license plate BBM-9232.
The update in the case came after the Nash County Sheriff’s Office confirmed on Wednesday night that a female body they found earlier in the week was identified as Keel’s. Police said Keel’s husband was the last person to see her alive.
Earlier on Wednesday, PEOPLE confirmed that authorities believed they may have found Keel’s body and that her husband was a person of interest.
Keel was reported missing from her Nashville home by her daughter on Saturday, March 9, according to a Nash County Sheriff’s Office press release.
Her employer told authorities she had not shown up for work the previous few days, and her car was still parked at her home.
On Tuesday, Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone announced that a local Department of Transportation worker had found a woman’s decomposing body in the woods.
Although it remained unclear how the woman died, Stone said, “There is definitely foul play involved.”
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Stone said Keel’s husband told investigators he last saw his wife Friday and seemed “surprised” when he heard that a body was found.
He was questioned by investigators Tuesday but was not taken into custody at that time, authorities said.
Stone confirmed there had been a domestic issue between the couple a year ago, saying, “There had been concerns between the husband at one time and Mrs. Keel but there has been nothing lately that has been reported on that.”
Keel’s husband had been married before. On Jan. 1, 2006, authorities conducted a death investigation into the death of his first wife, Elizabeth Edward Keel, according to a Nash County Sheriff’s Office press release.
Elizabeth’s death was ruled accidental. She died of blunt trauma to the head after falling and hitting her forehead on the home’s concrete steps. Her husband was home at the time of the incident, which took place at the same home from which Diana Keel was reported missing, a Nash County spokesperson told PEOPLE.
CNN reported on Friday that Nash County detectives are working with the FBI other local agencies to investigate the deaths of both Keel and Elizabeth. The Nash County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
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On Sunday, Keel’s daughter tweeted pictures of her and her mother captioned, “this is insane… you see this happen to everyone else and you don’t think it’s ever going to happen to you.”
Keel’s 10-year-old son is currently with his grandparents while authorities carry out their investigation, Stone said, calling the situation “tragic.”
No arrests have been made in the case.
“I’ve heard nobody that knew her had anything negative to say about this woman,” he said Tuesday. “What a tragic event. Even more tragic we now have a 10-year-old without a mom.”
Anyone with information on Rexford Lynn Keel Jr.’s whereabouts is urged to call the Nash County Sheriff’s Office at (252) 459-4121 or Twin County Crime Stoppers at (252) 977-1111.
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