(LEGGETT, N.C.) — A North Carolina husband is a person of interest in the unsolved murder of his most recent wife, Diana Keel, who was an emergency room nurse and mother of two, officials said Thursday.
The state’s Department of Transportation employees found the 38-year-old woman’s body on Tuesday near Leggett, North Carolina, about 30 minutes from her home in Nashville, North Carolina, according to the Nash County Sheriff’s Office. Foul play was “definitely” involved, officials said on Wednesday.
Authorities believe her body had been there since Saturday — the day Keel was reported missing by her 18-year-old daughter, according to the sheriff’s office. Keel also leaves behind a 10-year-old son.
Keel was last seen by her husband, Rexford Lynn Keel, on Friday, the sheriff’s office said.
Lynn Keel said he didn’t report his wife missing because she would leave “from time to time” and “stay gone a couple of days,” authorities said Wednesday.
Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone told reporters Wednesday night that Lynn Keel remains a person of interest, adding, “There are persons of interest that I don’t want to name at this time.”
“Because in any investigation you can have a person of interest and it can change at any time and go in a totally different way,” Stone said. “So were not going to rule out any possibilities at this time.”
Attempts by ABC News to reach Lynn Keel on Thursday were unsuccessful.
Diana Keel’s employer said she hadn’t been at work in a few days and her car has remained parked at her home, officials said.
As investigators dig into Keel’s mysterious death, detectives have also followed-up on the Jan. 1, 2006, death of Keel’s former wife, Elizabeth Edward Keel, the sheriff’s office said Wednesday.
Edward Keel fell and hit her forehead on the corner of the concrete steps at the front of the couple’s home, according to the sheriff’s office.
Edward Keel’s death was ruled accidental based on blunt trauma to the head, the medical examiner’s office determined at the time, the sheriff’s office said.
Lynn Keel was not listed as a suspect in Edward Keel’s death, said Brandon Medina, Chief Deputy of the Nash County Sheriff’s Office.
But, in the wake of Keel’s killing, investigators have reviewed in detail Edward Keel’s death report, autopsy report and photographs, “along with the notes from the primary deputy, investigator” and other witnesses, Medina told ABC News via email Thursday.
Lynn Keel continued to live in the same house his first wife died in, officials said.
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