Body Found Believed to Be N.C. Woman Who Went Missing Friday as Her Husband Named Person of Interest

"I've heard nobody that knew her had anything negative to say about this woman," the sheriff said Tuesday


Authorities searching for a missing North Carolina woman believe they may have found her body and say her husband is a person of interest, PEOPLE confirms.

Emergency room nurse Diana Alejandra Keel, 38, was reported missing from her Nashville home by her daughter Saturday, according to a Nash County Sheriff’s Office press release.

Her employer told authorities she had not shown up for work the previous few days. Her car is still parked at her home.

On Tuesday, Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone announced that a local Department of Transportation worker found a woman’s decomposing body in the woods.

Although it remains unclear how the woman died, Stone said, “there is definitely foul play involved.”

Stone said Keel’s husband, Rexford Lynn Keel, told investigators he last saw his wife Friday and seemed “surprised” when he heard that a body was found.

Keel, who was questioned by investigators Tuesday but was not taken into custody, is now a person of interest in the case, Stone said.

Nash County Sheriff's Office

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Stone confirmed there had been a domestic issue between the couple a year ago, saying, “there had been concerns between the husband at one time and Mrs. Keel but there has been nothing lately that has been reported on that.”

Following the discovery Tuesday afternoon, dive crews searched a nearby body of water. Stone said the search for evidence continues.

“We’re just going to take it step-by-step and take our time with the investigation,” he told reporters.

Keel has been married before. On Jan. 1, 2006, authorities conducted a death investigation into the death of his first wife, Elizabeth Edward Keel, according to a Nash County Sheriff’s Office press release.

Elizabeth’s death was ruled accidental. She died of blunt trauma to the head after falling and hitting her forehead on the home’s concrete steps. Her husband was home at the time of the incident, which took place at the same home from which Diana Keel was reported missing, a Nash County spokesperson tells PEOPLE.

Nash County Sheriff's Office

On Sunday, Keel’s daughter tweeted pictures of her and her mother captioned, “this is insane… you see this happen to everyone else and you don’t think it’s ever going to happen to you.”

Keel’s 10-year-old son is currently with his grandparents while authorities carry out their investigation, Stone said, calling the situation “tragic.”

No arrests have been made in the case.

“I’ve heard nobody that knew her had anything negative to say about this woman,” he said Tuesday. “What a tragic event. Even more tragic we now have a 10-year-old without a mom.”

Anyone with information pertaining to the case is urged to call the Nash County Sheriff’s Office at 252-459-4121.

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