March 19, 2019
In 2006, in Nash County, North Carolina, 42 year old Elizabeth Bess Edwards Keel died accidentally after slipping on ice and hitting her head on a small set of concrete steps outside of her own home. A medical examiner signed the death off as accidental, stating “blunt force trauma to the head” as the cause.
Known simply as “Bess” by her friends and co-workers at “Microbac Laboratories” in Wilson, she was described as a sweet woman who loved horse riding and the outdoors. Those who knew her were understandably shocked at her sudden death and were suspicious of the circumstances that lead to her untimely passing. At the time Bess lived with her husband, Rexford Lynn Keel Jr., or “Lynn” as those acquainted with him would call him. Lynn was a truck driver and although he worked full time hours, he always made sure to attend the formal lunches and seasonal parties thrown by Microbac Laboratories. The two had married in the early eighties after graduating high school and had lived their whole married lives in the house Bess eventually died in.
Lynn later went on to meet another woman almost 20 years his junior, a single mother and emergency room nurse named Diana Alejandra . Diana had a daughter and later went on to have a son with Lynn. They lived together in the house that he had shared with his first wife. Her job as a nurse was a direct reflection of her caring and compassionate nature. She was also lover of animals and regularly attended the local church. Ask anyone about Diana Alejandra and you wouldn’t hear a negative word about her.
Lynn and Diana didn’t have the perfect marriage. According to her mother she had attempted to divorce him at one point but was too afraid to go through with it. Friends described Lynn as being domineering and controlling and admitted that the couple had experienced domestic issues in the past. Diana was even forced to push away her best friend of 10 years, Taryn Edwards, who had been secretly helping her to file for divorce. Diana confided in her friend that she was unhappy in the marriage and that she was growing more dissatisfied as time went on. She wanted out, but Lynn had allegedly threatened her. Nobody really had any idea of what was really going on behind closed doors at 208 Old County Home Road in Momeyer, but everyone could see that Rexford Lynn Keel Jr. was succeeding in isolating his wife. A quick Google search of the address shows a small white house sitting alone on the corner of Tressell Loop Road and Old County Home Road. The street view image was taken in August 2007, just a year after the death of Elizabeth Bess Edwards Keel. The set of steps leading up to the front door look innocuous and unremarkable.
On March 9th Diana’s 18 year old daughter officially reported her missing to the police. Her mother had failed to show up for a shift at work a few days earlier and had ceased all contact with everyone. Diana’s vehicle remained parked outside of the family home and had not been touched in days. Friends and family began to worry, but when interviewed by local police Lynn shrugged it off and told them that she went missing from time to time and usually came back. He claimed that she left with friends on March 8th and said he wasn’t concerned for her welfare. Days passed and Diana did not return to the family home, nor did she contact her employers to explain her sudden absence. She left text messages unread, Facetimes unanswered and her online activity ceased completely- a move which was totally out of character for Diana as she loved to update her social media and keep in regular contact with friends and her mother who lived in Cuba.
Less than a week later a state transportation worker discovered the body of a female out in the woods, just a half hour drive from the Keel's home. Early reports stated that the woman had been violently stabbed to death and the victim was later identified as 38 year old Diana Alejandra Keel. The police kept the details of the murder under wraps to avoid complicating the investigation, but they did reveal that foul play was involved. Soon after the discovery, Mr. Keel disappeared.
The victim’s husband and main suspect in the case, 57 year old Rexford Lynn Keel Jr., was now being hunted down by authorities who had obtained a warrant for his arrest for a first degree murder charge. By this point Mr. Keel was missing. He had taken off in his Chevrolet pickup truck and had driven over 2000 miles in what seemed to be a desperate attempt to flee the crime. A few days’ later authorities in Arizona made an arrest during a routine traffic stop. Keel was arrested just over 30 miles from the Mexico border and was found to have a large sum of money, a pocket knife and bank receipts in his possession.
After his most recent alleged crime, investigators are now taking a second look at the death of his first wife , 42 year old Elizabeth Bess Edwards Keel. The small white house standing alone on the corner of Old County Home Road is now wrapped in black and yellow police tape.
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