A surveillance video revealed that the caretaker was driving the victim's car and using one of her cards.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on August 10, 2021. It has since been updated.
John Thompson, who was Lynn Gay Keene's neighbor and family friend of several decades, used to get cards on his birthday from Keene every July 19. But this year, her card never reached him. Eventually, worried family members of Keene reported her missing around July 30, 2021, because even they hadn't heard from her since June 14.
Deputies immediately searched her home, only to find that everything was still intact. However, according to WCNC, they noticed that the 70-year-old woman's 2000 Lincoln Town Car was missing.
The cops entered Keene's name and her car details into the database, in a bid to locate her, and three days later, on August 2, the police department reported to the sheriff's office that Keene's car was found abandoned along Blue Wing Road in Cherokee.
"Police said Lynn Gay Keene died of 'unnatural causes,' but provided no further details. She was found entombed in concrete in the basement of her home..." #elderabuse #truecrimecommunity #truecrimepodcasts #truecrime #murder #idtheft https://t.co/4mkC7VKp8f— E.J. Hammon 💀🔪 (@RoseDysfunction) August 8, 2021
The car was locked and the keys were hidden underneath the driver's seat, states PEOPLE. ACSO Detective Tim Austin noted that two empty 80-pound bags of concrete had also been found in the vehicle, per The Avery Journal Times.
Upon discovering the abandoned car, the Sheriff's office immediately requested a search warrant, giving them permission to legally enter the missing woman's home—alongside the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and its crime scene team.
Once inside, they discovered human remains. An autopsy was conducted to identify the remains, and through dental records, the body was confirmed to be Keene's. "She had blunt force trauma to the head, as well as strangulation," Austin stated.
Her death has since been ruled a homicide.
Per NBC News, authorities are now in search of a woman named Elizabeth Freeman, 53, who may also go by Elizabeth Carserino, who used to be the deceased's live-in caretaker.
Almost two months after her family reported her missing, 70-year-old Lynn Gay Keene was found entombed in concrete in her own home. https://t.co/Pyh2rlySE3— 10 Tampa Bay (@10TampaBay) August 8, 2021
The woman—who is also wanted on charges of larceny of a motor vehicle, financial card theft, and identity theft— is being sought by the sheriff's office for questioning. A surveillance video from a Marion convenience store revealed that the caretaker was driving Keene's car and using one of her financial cards.
Initially, authorities believed the woman would be in Dorchester County, South Carolina, or in Cumming, Georgia since she has family there. However, it was later confirmed by detective Austin that Freeman is currently in a hospital in Jackson County.
The detective said she will be taken into custody once she is released.
Thompson now remembers Keene as a generous neighbor with a kind soul, whom he said had a varying taste in music, enjoying tunes by artists including Prince and the Grateful Dead.
She used to take care of his mother, who passed away in 2020. Keene lost her son during the 9/11 terrorist attacks and her husband also passed away about two years ago. "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."
Cover Image Source: YouTube | WCNC (Police looking for person of interest after woman found buried in concrete)