A 70-year-old woman was found buried in concrete inside the basement of her North Carolina home nearly two months after she was reported missing, according to the Avery County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities filed a missing person report on July 30 for Lynn Gay Keene of Linville Falls after they learned she last had contact with her family members on June 14, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office obtained by NBC affiliate WCNC of Charlotte.
In an attempt to find Keene, detectives searched her home and found it to be secured. But the woman’s vehicle, a 2000 Lincoln Town Car, was missing from the residence. Keene and the car’s information were entered into a state database.
On Monday, Cherokee police reported that Keene’s vehicle had been located abandoned on Blue Wing Road in North Carolina with the car keys under the driver’s seat, according to the release. That discovery prompted Avery County Sheriff’s Office detectives to obtain a search warrant for Keene’s home.
With assistance from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and its crime scene team, authorities searched the home and found human remains entombed in concrete in the basement.
An autopsy was performed on the human remains, and through dental records, it was determined that the remains belonged to Keene, Avery County Sheriff Kevin Frye said in the release. The autopsy also concluded that Keene’s cause of death was a homicide.
Authorities said they are now searching for a woman who had been hired as Keene’s live-in caretaker.
Elizabeth Freeman, 53, who may also go by Elizabeth Carserino, is being sought by the sheriff’s office for questioning, according to Frye. She is also wanted on charges of larceny of a motor vehicle, financial card theft and identity theft, police said.
Authorities believe Freeman could be in Dorchester County, South Carolina, or in Cumming, Georgia, where she has family.
John Thompson, Keene’s neighbor and family friend of several decades, said he used to get birthday cards from Keene every July 19. But he never got a card last month.
Thompson now remembers her as a generous neighbor who loved listening to Prince and the Grateful Dead. According to him, Keene’s son died during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and her husband also passed away about two years ago. Her mother, who Keene used to care for, also passed away last year, Thompson said.
“That’s a lot for one person to take on,” he added. “It’s just … it’s not fair. Nobody should have to go through that.”
Nicole Acevedo is a reporter for NBC News Digital. She reports, writes and produces stories for NBC Latino and NBCNews.com.