Body found is that of missing woman, foul play involved, NC sheriff says

NASHVILLE, N.C. -- The Nash County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday that the body found in Edgecombe County is that of missing woman Diana Alejandra Keel, 38.

Stone said a homicide investigation was underway and that there were "persons of interest."

One of her friends told ABC11 that her husband, who is a person of interest in the case, was very controlling.

Taryn Edwards said Lynn Keel wouldn't let his wife be alone with anyone.

"The verbal and emotional abuse was evident to me as a friend," Edwards said. "The atmosphere of the house was always really tense. He hovered a lot, never allowed her to be alone with anybody for extended periods of time."

EMBED More News Videos

Missing Nash County woman's friend says husband was 'controlling.'

The search for clues in Diana's disappearance continued Wednesday, with investigators carrying out boxes of evidence from their house on Old County Home Road in Nashville.

Chief Deputy Brandon Medina, of the Nash County Sheriff's Office, said earlier Wednesday that the autopsy was performed at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville.

"During the autopsy, we'll have an investigator there," he said. "What'll happen is usually they'll do a normal autopsy. We'll get a blood sample. We'll get some fingerprints. Those items will aid us in identifying the female that was located in Edgecombe County."

Diana's husband, Lynn, was brought in for questioning Tuesday.

He has since been released.

"The most difficult aspect of this case is a 10-year-old son and an 18-year-old daughter are without their mother." Stone said Wednesday night.

Edwards told ABC11 on Wednesday that Diana was her best friend and that she was trying to help Diana leave her husband, but when he found out, he made them cut off their friendship.

"She hugged me. I was crying. She told me not to cry that everything was going to be OK," Edwards said. "When she walked out the door, that's the last time I saw her."

Edwards said she met Diana around 2009 when they were both attending Momeyer Baptist Church.

"She was such a sweet, sweet friend," Edwards said.

Diane's cousin also spoke to ABC11 on Wednesday, saying the mother of two came to North Carolina to live the American Dream -- but it ended up being a nightmare.

"I can't believe it," said Javier Guevara. "I can't believe it. It's very, very sad."

Pastor Daniel Parker, of Christian Fellowship Church, said Diana used to attend the church.

"It is hard," he said. "It is hard to have normalcy right now because someone you know is missing. Someone you know is under investigation. It's just a very concerning time. I'm praying for everybody involved."

Diana was first reported missing by her daughter on March 7.

Nash County deputies went to the home two days later, where her husband told them he'd last seen her Friday.

Diana's employer told investigators she had not reported to work in several days.

Her car is still parked at the home.

"There's been no use of her cell phone. We've reached out, tried to call her several times and can't get anything," Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone said.

In 2006, Diana's husband's previous wife, Elizabeth Bess Edwards Keel, died at their home. It was ruled accidental.
Copyright © 2022 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.