A body has been discovered in the search for a missing North Carolina woman.
The body has not been identified by authorities, who have been searching for Diana Keel, WRAL reported. An autopsy is scheduled to determine the cause of death, but Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone said, “there is definitely foul play involved,” according to the TV station.
In a news conference shared by WTVD, Stone said a decomposing body was found by a DOT worker in Edgecombe County woods around noon Tuesday, and the sheriff’s office believes it is Keel.
The 38-year-old was last seen Friday at her Nash County home, which was surrounded by crime tape as helicopters and cadaver dogs searched the area, per WNCN.
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Stone previously said his office considers Keel’s disappearance to be suspicious, WTVD reported.
Her husband was questioned by the sheriff’s office, and Stone called him “a person of interest in the case,” at the news conference. Stone said Keel’s husband was “surprised” when he learned a body had been found.
According to WTVD, Keel “was first reported missing by her daughter on Thursday, March 7.” The TV station said her daughter is in college, and she also has a 10-year-old child with her husband.
Keel’s husband was the last person to see her Friday at the family home in eastern North Carolina, according to the sheriff’s office. He reported her missing Saturday evening, the sheriff’s office said in a press release.
The FBI joined the search Tuesday, according to WRAL.
“According to Diana Alejandra Keel’s employer, she had not reported to work in the last few days. Diana Alejandra Keel’s vehicle is still parked at the residence,” the sheriff’s office said.
“Keel works as an emergency room nurse in Wilson,” WNCN said.
“This lady talks to her kid every day. She talks to other family members quite often, every day, texting, communicating, FaceTimes, and then all of a sudden this stops,” Sheriff Stone said, WNCN reported.
No one has seen or heard from Keel since Friday, the sheriff said, according to the TV station. “There’s no track record of financials that she’s did. Her vehicle’s still in her yard and nobody’s heard from her,” he said.
The sheriff said Keel’s husband told police his wife left with some “acquaintances” and never came back, according to WTVD.
WNCN reported: “A deputy on scene confirmed to CBS 17 that Lynn Keel’s first wife, Elizabeth Bess Edwards Keel, died at the same home on Jan. 1, 2006. He told investigators she fell on the back steps and died.”