Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone confirmed on Wednesday night that the body found Tuesday on Polk Hole Road is that of Diana Alejandra Keel.
Keel was reported missing around 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 9 by her daughter, an 18-year-old college student in Wilmington. Stone said Keel was always in contact with her family and after they hadn't heard from her they became concerned. Keel had also not shown up for her job as a nurse in Wilson, which was also unusual, prompting concerned co-workers to reach out.
Keel's body was found three days later on a rural road in Edgecombe County by a Department of Transportation Worker. A forensic autopsy was completed at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville to confirm the identity.
"She was located Tuesday, March 12 around 12, 12:30 p.m.," Stone said. "We think the body had been out there since the date she was missing, March 9, so it had been out there a few days. "
"It was determined that foul play was the cause," Stone added. "This is a homicide investigation at this time."
Stone said there are persons of interest but would not elaborate. However, he did say the sheriff's office has questioned Keel's husband, Lynn Keel, and he remains a person of interest. He is not in custody, Stone said.
"He's not charged with anything," Stone said. "He's a person of interest."
Stone said other agencies are working with the sheriff's office to solve the homicide.
"We're doing anything we can," he said. "We're partnering with the best law enforcement in America to bring a close to this."
Stone said the case was a sad one as Keel had children.
"The most difficult aspect of this case is a 10-year-old son and an 18-year-old daughter are without their mother," Stone added.
Stone said the public can help by providing any information about the case, particular video footage that covers Highway 97, Battleboro Leggett Road, Highway 33 or Highway 64 out of Edgecombe County.
"It may aid in our investigation," he said.
Any information related to the investigation can be relayed to the Nash County Sheriff's Office at (252) 459- 4121 or Twin County Crime Stoppers at (252) 977-1111.