AVERY COUNTY, N.C. — New details have been released in the murder of a woman whose body was found entombed in concrete in the basement of her Avery County home last week.
According to search warrants, 53-year-old Elizabeth Carserino was hired by family to be Lynn Keene’s live-in caretaker earlier this year after the 70-year-old fell and suffered a traumatic brain injury.
Court documents state that Keene fired Carserino in June but neighbors said she was still living in Keene’s home until late July.
On July 30, Avery County deputies filed a missing person report for Keene. She had been reported missing from her Linville Falls home by family members, who said they had last spoken to her on June 14.
When detectives initially went to Keene’s home, they found it was secured and that Keene’s 2000 Lincoln Town Car was missing. Keene and her vehicle were both entered into the North Carolina database.
Officers with the Cherokee Police Department later notified Avery County that the Lincoln had been found abandoned on Blue Wing Road in Cherokee. Investigators said the car was locked and the keys for the vehicle were found beneath the driver’s seat.
Court documents state that investigators traced Carserino’s cellphone to the area where the car was found. Deputies also told Channel 9 that she was spotted in surveillance images at a nearby gift shop.
The next day, Avery County detectives were able to get a search warrant for Keene’s home and, with help from the North Carolina SBI, entered the house. During the search, detectives and SBI agents found blood evidence on the walls, ceiling and floor of a bathroom as well as Keene’s remains entombed in concrete in the basement.
Court documents state that Keene was strangled with a belt and struck in the head. Investigators haven’t said when Keene died, but residents in the area said it’s been months since she was last seen.
One neighbor said Carserino came to her business once a week buying cigarettes and pizza. She said the murder has shaken the Linville Falls community which fills with tourist during the summer months.
“That’s just something you read about or see in a horror movie,” she said. “You don’t think that’s gonna happen anywhere near you. Everybody is on edge about that.”
Avery County Sheriff Kevin Frye announced on Sunday that Carserino was taken into custody Saturday and charged with murder, identity theft, larceny of motor vehicle and financial card theft.
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