Arrest warrant issued for husband of North Carolina woman found dead, active search for him underway


Left to right: Rexford Lynn Keel (suspect) and Diana Alejandra Keel (victim)

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NASHVILLE, N.C. — The husband of a North Carolina woman found dead Tuesday was the last known person to see her alive, according to police.

Diana Alejandra Keel, 38, was last seen by her husband on March 8, according to the Nash County Sheriff’s Office. She was reported missing on March 9 by her daughter.

Keel’s employer said the emergency room nurse hadn’t showed up to work in the last few days. The sheriff’s office said her body was found about 30 miles away from her home.

Following an autopsy on Wednesday, police confirmed Keel’s identity, and said her death was being treated as a homicide.

Police questioned Keel’s husband, Rexford Lynn Keel, on Tuesday, according to Maj. Miste Strickland of the Nash County Sheriff’s Office.

There has now been an arrest warrant issued for Rexford Lynn Keel and authorities are actively looking for him, according to WTVD. He is wanted on a first-degree murder charge.

Investigators are also taking a second look at the death of Keel’s first wife, Elizabeth Edward Keel, who died in 2006 at the same home Keel lives in today, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office.

Keel didn’t report his wife’s disappearance, Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone said. Keel said his wife would frequently leave their Nashville, North Carolina, home for several days at a time, according to Stone.

She ‘would not leave her kids’

But her family said the mother of two wouldn’t have left her children behind. “My sister would not leave her kids alone,” Keel’s brother Mauricio told WRAL. “She is joyful, she is caring, she is a great mother, she is the best sister ever. She’s like a guardian angel.”

Stone said at a press conference on Wednesday that he’d been told there were some “difficulties” in the Keels’ marriage. Stone also said that Rexford Lynn Keel was cooperating with police.

The 2006 death of Keel’s first wife, Elizabeth Edward Keel, was at the time ruled an accident by the medical examiner’s office, the Nash County Sheriff’s office said. An autopsy indicated she died after falling and striking her forehead on the corner of concrete steps at the front of the home. Strickland told CNN that detectives were working with the FBI and other local agencies to investigate the deaths of both women.

“Definitely there’s a killer on the loose and we’re doing everything we can,” Stone said at a news conference Wednesday.

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