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Who Is Lynn Keel? New Details About The Husband Of A N.C. Woman Who Was Found Dead — And Why He Was Charged With Her Murder

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Who Is Lynn Keel? New Details About The Husband Of A N.C. Woman Who Was Found Dead — And Why He Was Charged With Her Murder

The husband of a N.C. woman who was found dead was arrested and charged with her murder.

Lynn Keel, 57, was arrested Sunday and charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Diana Keel. Diana, a 38-year-old nurse, was reported missing by her daughter on March 9. Her body was found in a wooded area about 30 miles from her home on March 12.

Lynn was named a person of interest when Diana's body was discovered and questioned overnight but released after. Now, he faces homicide charges.

"A lot of work put into this but it got a killer off the streets," Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone said following Lynn's arrest.

Lynn is being held in Pima County Jail, according to jail records.

So who is Lynn Keel and why was he charged with Diana Keel's murder?

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1. A warrant was issued for his arrest. 

A first-degree murder warrant was issued for Lynn's arrest, police announced Friday. He was considered armed and dangerous. Lynn quickly disappeared.

Authorities believed Lynn was on the run in his father's truck and asked the public to keep an eye out for a gold or pewter colored 1998 Chevrolet pickup truck with NC license plate BBM9232.

Following a multi-day manhunt, Lynn was finally captured states away from his N.C. home and put behind bars.

Nash County Sheriff's Office

2. He had a large sum of cash on him.

Lynn was arrested just outside of Tuscon, Arizona on March 17 "without incident."

“A traffic stop on Interstate 10 near Tucson, Arizona, 30 minutes from Benson, earlier this morning resulted in Rexford Lynn Keel Jr being taken into custody without incident," the Nash County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.

Lynn had “many Wells Fargo receipts and a large sum of money on him,” according to police.

Nash County Sheriff's Office

3. He may have been trying to flee the country.

When authorities took Keel into custody he was in Arizona, just 34 miles from the Mexico border. Arizona State Police were able to locate and arrest Ly as a result of a tip that said he was headed west on I-10.

When asked if he believed Lynn was attempting to flee the country, Stone said, "By speculation, yes...We can only speculate." 

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4. Diana was planning to divorce him.

According to friends and family, Diana was preparing to leave Lynn prior to her death. Diana's friend said Lynn was controlling and wouldn't let her be alone with anyone.

"The verbal and emotional abuse was evident to me as a friend," Taryn 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." 

Diana's mother, Esperanza Prada, told ABC11 that her daughter  tried to divorce Lynn before but didn't go through with it because he "threatened her."

Edwards said that when Lynn found out she was helping Diana divorce him, he made his wife sever ties with her.

“She hugged me. I was crying. She told me not to cry that everything was going to be OK. When she walked out the door, that’s the last time I saw her,” Edwards told ABC11. “She was such a sweet, sweet friend.”

5. His first wife died.

Lynn's previous wife, Elizabeth Bess Edwards Keel, died in their home in January 2006. Her death, caused by blunt trauma to the head, was declared accidental by a medical examiner WTVD-TV reported. According to records, Elizabeth fell and hit her head on the concrete steps in front of their house.

Stone plans to speak to District Attorney about further investigating Lynn's first wife's death and possibly opening up the case.

“We’re going to work all the leads on that and we’re going to go back and look at the information we had on the first incident reports,” Stone told WRAL-TV. “We’re going to talk with the District Attorney’s office. It’s something that we need to be looking at.”

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Sarah Gangraw writes about all things news, entertainment and crime. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.