Nash County murder suspect brought son to church after mom went missing, pastor says

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NASHVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone is waiting to bring 57-year-old Lynn Keel back to North Carolina to face a judge.

The sheriff said Lynn Keel was already arraigned in Arizona and now is awaiting extradition.

Lynn Keel is scheduled to be back in Nash County on Thursday, Stone said. 

Lynn Keel is accused of murdering his wife, 38-year-old Diana Keel. Stone said Lynn Keel stabbed her to death.

Arizona State Police arrested Lynn Keel on Sunday near Tuscon as he was driving his parent’s truck.

The 911 call that helped lawe enforcement discover Diana Keel’s body was released Monday. 

“It looks like something is laying in the woods,” a caller told the 911 dispatcher. “I don’t what it is, a body or something. I don’t know.”

The mother of two had been missing for four days.

“Her smile was contagious and her love for children and wanting to know more about the Lord and there’s just so much more we’d love to learn about her, but we didn’t get the chance to know,” said Pastor Daniel Parker with the Christ Fellowship Church.

Diana’s daughter, Laura, is a freshman at UNC Wilmington.

The college student is speaking out on social media in an effort to protect her 10-year-old brother.

“There is so much being said and the trial’s already happened on social media before it’s even scheduled at the courthouse,” said Parker.

Laura told CBS 17 she’s not ready to talk with reporters on camera, but she did share a Facebook post with CBS 17.

It reads, “I know everyone feels a certain type of way towards what my step father did to my family, however I beg of all of you, don’t spread the hate. Hate creates hate and social media is very present right now. My brother is so pure hearted, he doesn’t need to see that hate. We all just need to focus on how wonderful my mother was, in order to heal the best we can. Thank you.”

Parker said the Keel family came to church regularly. He said he was blown away when he read Laura’s post.

“I just thought from an 18-year-old girl, what wisdom, what maturity, in a time like this, coming from the person who has lost the most in this to come out and just make this statement,” said Parker.

Parker said Lynn Keel brought his son to church after Diana Keel went missing, but he didn’t notice anything unusual.

“Nothing, nothing,” said Parker. “No signs or anything like that.”

Lynn Keel was married before to a woman named Bess. She died on Jan. 1, 2006. Her death was ruled accidental as she fell on her home’s back steps as she was carrying a turkey. 

CBS 17’s Kelly Kennedy asked Stone if they would be re-opening Bess Keel’s case at a press conference on Sunday.

“We’re gonna work all the leads on that and we’re gonna go back and look at the information we had from the first incident reports,” said Stone. “We’re gonna talk with the district attorney’s office but definitely it’s something we need to be looking at.”

Bess Keel’s family has been waiting to hear that for years.

Bess’ family did not want to talk on camera, but they did send us a statement that reads in part: 

“Our family has always questioned Bess death and feels deeply saddened that another life has been taken. We will be keeping her family in our prayers and condolences. We pray for justice for both families.”

A former coworker of Bess Keel’s started a blog asking the sheriff to re-open the investigation into her death.

He told CBS 17 many of Bess’ friends always had a gut feeling that something was off with Lynn and after they learned he was charged with killing Diana Keel, they knew they needed to do something to get justice.

CBS 17 did reach out to the district attorney, but he told us he could not comment on the case.

Laura Keel also started a Gofundme page to raise money for her mother’s funeral expenses and to help her take care of her little brother.

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