Lynn Keel, man accused of killing wife in Nash Co. in 2019 and then fleeing state, takes plea deal

NASH COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Lynn Keel, the man accused of killing his wife in Nash County in March 2019, took a plea deal on Monday to avoid a trial.

The sheriff's office on Monday confirmed he pleaded no contest.

He is charged in the murder of Diana Alejandra Keel. Her autopsy, which was made public last year, revealed that she died from blunt force trauma and stab wounds related to a particularly vicious attack.

Lynn Keel was found and arrested in Arizona days after his wife's body was found in Edgecombe County.

The autopsy report showed that the 38-year-old woman suffered multiple skull fractures, internal bleeding and stab wounds to her face and neck. Her lung was also punctured and she was missing her left eye.

Lynn Keel's first wife, Elizabeth Bess Edwards Keel, also died. Her death was ruled an accident, with investigators being told she fell and hit her head on the corner of a set of concrete stairs.

Here's a timeline of the case involving Diana Alejandra Keel:

Saturday, March 9

Diana Alejandra Keel, 38 of Nashville, was reported missing. A co-worker at Wilson Medical Center called the police, saying the nurse hadn't been in touch with her daughter for at least two days and hadn't shown up to work for a few days either.

The 911 caller said:

"She was supposed to work tonight. She's on the schedule. She's the type of coworker she's always like 30 minutes early. And if you text her she replies back like reasonably. She has not done any of them."

Family and friends immediately suspected her husband, Rexford, had something to do with her disappearance.

"Because of the controlling nature that he has, the way that whenever they got into heated arguments, the way that he would talk to her," said her friend Taryn Edwards.

Tuesday, March 12

Diana's body was found in the woods in Edgecombe County. Warrants said she was only wearing underwear and a wedding ring.

The 911 caller said:

"It looks like something laying in the woods. I don't know what it is. A body or something, I don't know."

Keel was questioned.
Friday, March 15

A murder warrant was issued for Keel.

Sunday, March 17

After fleeing, Keel was caught in Arizona, about 30 miles from the Mexican border. Warrants showed a license plate reader led police to him.
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