Nash County man accused of murdering wife brought back to NC

Local News
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Lynn Keel (CBS 17)

TUSCON, Ariz. (WNCN) – Rexford Lynn Keel, the Nash County man accused of killing his wife, waived extradition Friday morning and is now in North Carolina. 

Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone was in Pima County Thursday as Keel appeared in court. Keel is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 38-year-old Diana Keel.

Around 4:45 p.m., Lynn Keel was walked into the Nash County Sheriff’s Office. Stone, in a press conference, offered more insight into who the suspect is.

“He worked at a gun store here,” Stone said. “He was a machinist. He was a gunsmith, and I knew him through that.”

Pima County Superior Court Judge Lee Ann Roads found Lynn Keel knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently gave up his right to challenge extradition and signed the waiver. 

Keel was arrested Sunday near Tuscon. According to the Arizona search warrant, he was found with a knife, camping gear, and medication. Court documents show his pickup truck was spotted by a license plate reader. 

During a news conference Friday, Stone said Keel drove 65 mph for three days straight — periodically stopping for breaks — before he was captured on Sunday.

“I feel relieved when the Arizona highway patrol told us he was in custody because I knew, at that time, any carnage wouldn’t happen out west,” Stone said. “Eighteen minutes and they had a whole team of Arizona troopers put their life at risk on a Sunday morning — when most people are going to church or doing whatever — to take a killer off the streets. I just want to commend Arizona.”

Stone added that Keel talked about the trip, but not about the case.

Diana Keel was reported missing more than a week before her body was found. Lynn Keel was questioned following her disappearance but later released. 

Court documents show she was found wearing only underwear and her wedding ring. Tire tracks were found close to her body.

Lynn Keel was found with a large amount of cash and was possibly headed to the Mexican border, the sheriff said.

Both his cars had been seized before he left so Lynn Keel was driving a vehicle that belongs to his parents. In addition to the cars, dozens of guns were seized from Keel’s home before he had been caught in Arizona, according to warrants.

On Sunday, Stone said that Diana Keel died from multiple stab wounds.

Diana Keel was last seen alive March 8 by a postal worker who delivered a package to her at 11 a.m., Stone said Sunday. Diana Keel was reported missing the next day.

From the beginning, investigators called Lynn Keel a person of interest in the case.

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