A Wilson Times Co. publication · Serving Southern Nash County Since 1947

Murder suspect returned from Arizona

Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.


A man accused of killing his wife is behind bars in Nash County after he was extradited from Arizona on Friday.

Rexford Lynn Keel Jr. will make his first court appearance inside a Nashville courtroom Tuesday to face a charge of first-degree murder in the slaying of 38-year-old Diana Alejandra Keel.

Diana Keel, a Wilson Medical Center emergency room nurse since 2017, went missing on March 9. Her husband fled in a pickup truck after Nash County sheriff’s officials issued an arrest warrant in connection to the killing a week ago.

He was captured Sunday in Tucson, about 34 miles from the Mexico border, and had a large amount money on him as well as many Wells Fargo bank receipts, according to officials.

Keel didn’t fight extradition during Thursday’s court hearing in Pima County, Arizona. Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone, who attended the hearing, brought Keel back on Friday.

Diana Keel’s body was found March 12 in rural Edgecombe County about 30 minutes from the couple’s 208 Old County Home Road home in Momeyer, less than 2 miles from Nash Correctional Institution.

Nash County deputies were called to Diana and Rexford Keel’s home on March 9 after her 18-year-old daughter and her employer reported her missing.

Keel told investigators he last saw his wife on March 8 when she left with friends. He also told investigators that his wife would leave from time to time, according to officials. Diana Keel’s vehicle was still in the driveway.

Deputies and other officials conducted a wide search for the woman, who was known to friends as having a kind heart and loving spirit.

A state Department of Transportation worker who was not a part of the search found Diana Keel’s body, which had been dumped a few miles outside of the town of Leggett between N.C. 97 and N.C. 33.

Diana and Rexford Keel have a 10-year-old son.

The medical examiner hasn’t released the official cause of Diana Keel’s death, but Nash County investigators say they determined foul play was involved.