US

Husband Lynn Keel Named Person of Interest in Case of Missing Nurse Diana Keel

By Zachary Stieber

The husband of North Carolina nurse Diana Keel, who went missing on March 8, has been named as a person of interest.

Keel, a 38-year-old Hispanic woman, was last seen by her husband Lynn Keel on Friday, March 8, he told Nash County Sheriff’s Office deputies.

Her employer told deputies on Monday that she had not reported to work for a few days. Deputies found her vehicle still parked at the family’s residence in Nashville.

A body found in the woods by a state Department of Transportation worker in Edgecombe County was believed to be the missing nurse, but positive identification was pending.

Lynn Keel was brought in and questioned by detectives after the body was found; he was named as a person of interest, officials told WSOC-TV, but he has not been charged as of yet.

Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone told reporters that the body was decomposed and he suspects foul play was involved in the death.

He said that Lynn Keel seemed “surprised” by the discovery of a body.

“We’re just going to take it step-by-step and take our time with the investigation,” Stone said, reported WRAL. “I’ve heard nobody that knew her had anything negative to say about this woman. What a tragic event. Even more tragic we now have a 10-year-old without a mom.”

The Keels had a 10-year-old son, who is with family members, in addition to another child who is in college.

Lynn Keel was released after the questioning. Stone noted that there was a domestic issue between the husband and wife about a year ago. “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,” he told WTVD.

Lynn Keel told investigators that his wife left their house with some acquaintances and that was the last time he saw her, Stone added.

Diana’s mother, Esperanza Prada, told the broadcaster from her home in Colombia that she feared for her daughter’s safety. “I am afraid for my daughter,” Prada said. “I want my daughter to appear.”

“Years ago, my daughter wanted to separate from (her husband) but she couldn’t because he threatened her,” Prada added.

According to police records, Lynn Keel’s previous wife, Elizabeth Bess Edwards Keel died at their house in 2006 but her death was ruled accidental.

“My sister would not leave her kids alone,” Keel’s brother Mauricio added to WRAL from his home in Columbia. “She is joyful, she is caring, she is a great mother, she is the best sister ever. She’s like a guardian angel.”

Diana Keel was described as 5 foot 2, weighing approximately 150 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes.

Anyone with information was asked to call the Nash County Sheriff’s Office at (252) 459- 4121 or Twin County Crime Stoppers at (252) 977-1111.