CUMMING, Ga. — 70-year-old Lynn Gay Keene's family had not heard from her since June 14. They reported her missing with hopes that she'd be found.
Almost two months later, there was a tragic discovery: her body was found entombed in concrete in the basement of her own home.
Now, the Avery County Sheriff's Office in North Carolina says they're looking for the live-in caretaker the family hired.
Keene's neighbor and family friend of several decades, John Thompson, said nobody in their small, quiet community saw this coming.
“I never would have imagined this would have happened. Not here. And not to her," Thompson said. "We just all remember seeing her certain days, and then started asking like, oh, it's been a while since we've actually seen her.”
Thompson said he used to get birthday cards from Keene on his July 19th birthday. Last month, that card never arrived.
"Very, very small community, we notice everything, every car, you know, that comes in and out of the road, everything, and nobody noticed anything," he said. "She definitely didn't deserve it. Shows you what some people are capable of."
Thompson remembers his friend of many decades as a generous neighbor who loved listening to Prince and the Grateful Dead.
He said Keene's son died in 9/11, her husband about two years ago, and her mother - who Keene cared for - passed away last year.
"That's a lot of kicks. That's a lot for one person to take on, you know, that lose as many people and in the circumstances that she has lost people. It's just... it's not fair. Nobody should have to go through that," Thompson added.
The sheriff's office said Keene's family filed the report on July 30, saying they had not heard from her since June 14. Deputies reported checking her home and found it was secured, but her 2000 Lincoln Town Car was missing. Both Keene and the car were entered into a state database in an attempt to find either her or the vehicle.
Three days later, on August 2, the Cherokee Police Department in North Carolina reported to the sheriff's office that Keene's car was found abandoned along Blue Wing Road in Cherokee. The car was locked and the keys were found underneath the driver's seat.
The sheriff's office said finding the car prompted them to get a search warrant, enabling them to enter the home with agents from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. When they got to the basement of the home, they found human remains entombed in concrete. An autopsy that cross-referenced dental records confirmed the remains found belonged to Keene, and her cause of death was deemed a homicide.
The live-in caretaker Avery County deputies are looking for is 53-year-old Elizabeth Freeman of South Carolina. She stands at 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs about 200 pounds. She has shoulder-length blond hair and could be going by the name of Elizabeth Carserino. She's currently wanted on charges of larceny of a motor vehicle, financial card theft, and identity theft.
"Blown away... blown away," added Thompson. "The Elizabeth lady had a pretty good reputation and rapport with the family. Nobody thought bad or thought something like that would happen. Never. Not in a million years."
As of writing, Freeman hasn't been located for questioning. Sheriff David Frye says she may be in either Dorchester County in South Carolina or near the Cumming, Georgia area as she has family in both places.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Det. Tim Austin by calling either 828-733-2071 ext 1205, or 828-386-7213.