The body of a North Carolina mother who vanished over the weekend has been positively identified and officials named the woman’s husband as a person of interest in her death.
Diana Alejandra Keel, 38, was reported missing by her 18-year-old daughter Saturday after the teen discovered her mother’s car in the driveway of her North Carolina home, but couldn’t find her mother, ABC News reports.
The emergency room nurse’s husband, Lynn Keel, told deputies he had last seen his wife on Friday when she told him she was going to go run some errands.
Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone said he told authorities he didn’t report her missing when she failed to return home because she “leaves from time to time and will stay gone a couple of days.”
Investigators believe foul play was “definitely” involved in Keel’s death and are investigating the case as a homicide, but declined to reveal the exact cause of death.
“Definitely there’s a killer on the loose and we’re doing everything we can,” Stone said in a press conference Wednesday, according to WRAL.
Her body was discovered Tuesday by a Department of Transportation worker in a wooded area in Leggett, about 30 miles from Keel’s home.
The sheriff’s office has named Keel’s husband as a person of interest in the investigation and said there were domestic troubles between the pair.
Stone said authorities have previously been called to the home for “communication problems” and “small domestic issues,” but didn’t provide further details about the calls.
The victim’s brother said he didn’t believe his sister would ever leave her children, a 10-year-old son and 18-year-old daughter, alone.
“She is joyful, she is caring, she is a great mother, she is the best sister ever,” he told WRAL.
Lynn Keel’s previous wife, Elizabeth Edward Keel, died at the home in 2006. According to a statement from the sheriff’s office, the death was ruled “accidental” after a forensic autopsy determined she had died of blunt force trauma to the head after falling and striking her forehead on the corner of the front concrete steps at their home.
Investigators are continuing to look into the circumstances surrounding Diana Alejandra Keel’s death and have asked that anyone with information contact the sheriff’s office.
“The most difficult aspect of this case is a 10-year-old son and an 18-year-old daughter are without their mother,” Sheriff Keith Stone said.
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