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Authorities are seeking Diana Keel’s husband on a first-degree murder charge in the Wilson Medical Center nurse and Nash County resident’s killing.
Rexford Lynn Keel Jr.’s whereabouts were unknown Friday evening, according to the Nash County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies believe he’s driving a pewter or gold 1998 Chevrolet pickup truck with North Carolina license plate BBM-9232.
Detectives are currently following up on leads, Chief Deputy Brandon Medina of the Nash County Sheriff’s Office said in a Friday news release.
Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is asked to call the Nash County Sheriff’s Office at 252- 459-4121 or Twin County Crime Stoppers at 252-977-1111.
Diana Alejandra Keel’s body was found Tuesday in rural Edgecombe County about 30 minutes from the couple’s 208 Old County Home Road home in Momeyer. Rexford Lynn Keel has been a person of interest in the case since his wife went missing.
He told investigators he last saw his wife on March 8 when she left with friends, Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone previously said. He also told investigators that his wife would leave from time to time. Earlier this week, Stone declined to say how the mother of two was killed, citing the ongoing investigation.
LATE WIFE’s death
Nash County detectives followed up on another incident involving Rexford Lynn Keel’s late wife, 42-year-old Elizabeth Edwards Keel, who died at the same Old County Home Road on Jan. 1, 2006.
The medical examiner’s office ruled her death accidental and she died as result of blunt force trauma after falling and striking her forehead on the corner of the front concrete steps of their home, according to the Nash County Sheriff’s Office.
The couple was married for more than 20 years prior to her death, according to their 1982 wedding announcement published in The Spring Hope Enterprise. Elizabeth was a lifelong resident of Momeyer and a graduate of N.C. Wesleyan College, according to her obituary.
The circumstances surrounding Diana Keel’s death prompted comparisons to Elizabeth Keel, and sheriff’s deputies discussed the 2006 death earlier this week. The Wilson Times withheld those details to avoid fueling speculation when Rexford Lynn Keel had not yet been charged with a crime.
MISSING PERSON CASE
Nash County deputies were called to Diana and Rexford Keel’s home a week ago after her 18-year-old daughter reported her missing. Diana’s vehicle was still in the driveway.
The Momeyer home has a Nashville address and is less than two miles from Nash Correctional Institution. A state Department of Transportation worker who was not part of the search found Diana Keel’s body, which had been dumped a few miles outside the town of Leggett between N.C. 97 and N.C. 33. The missing person case quickly turned into a homicide investigation after medical examiners attributed her death to foul play.
Wilson Medical Center emergency room staffers have been mourning the loss of their colleague. Health care providers told The Wilson Times on Thursday that Diana could brighten a room and cared deeply for her patients.
She was also known as having a compassionate and loving spirit, and coworkers said she often spoke fondly of her children.