Warrants: Caretaker charged with murder of N.C. woman found in concrete had been fired

Elizabeth Katherine Carserino, also known as Elizabeth Freeman, has been charged with Identity theft, Larceny of Motor Vehicle and Financial Card Theft, and murder.
Elizabeth Carserino
Elizabeth Carserino(Avery County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 4:28 PM EDT
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AVERY COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - A caretaker who has been arrested and charged in the murder of a 70-year-old woman whose remains were found in concrete in the basement of an Avery County home was fired in June, according to search warrants received by WBTV.

The newly released information was found when Elizabeth Katherine Carserino read some of the entries from her hand-written journal to investigators while she was being interviewed.

Carserino, who also went by Elizabeth Freeman, has been charged with the death of Lynn Gay Keene.

She has been charged with Identity theft, Larceny of Motor Vehicle and Financial Card Theft, and murder.

The search warrant said Keene had been strangled with a belt and also sustained a large “blunt force injury to her head,” which resulted in her skull being fractured.

Deputies say Freeman was hired by the family to be the live-in caretaker of Keene after the woman fell and had a traumatic brain injury.

The warrant said that Carserino told Keene’s family that she had been fired in the middle of June but was still living at the home until late July.

Court documents said neighbors said the former caretaker was still living in the woman’s home until late July.

Carserino was arrested and taken to the Avery County Detention Center on August 7, and she was given under a bond of $1.62 million.

Lynn Keene
Lynn Keene(Avery County Sheriff's Office)

Deputies said Keene, who had been missing out of Avery County for almost two months was found entombed in concrete in the basement of a home. Her caretaker, Carserino, who was deemed as a person of interest, was found in the hospital with a drug issue.

After she was discharged from the hospital, deputies took Carserino, who went by Elizabeth Freeman, into custody.

Avery County Sheriff’s Office filed a missing person report for Keene on Friday, July 30. She was reported missing by her family from her home in Linville Falls with their last contact being June 14.

According to the search warrant, Keene last picked up her mail on July 16.

Deputies identified Elizabeth Freeman, from Goose Creek, S.C., as a suspect.

On August 2, a Lincoln Town Car that was registered to Keene was located in Cherokee, N.C.

Cherokee police said they initially saw a person with short gray hair sitting in the car that morning. When officers found the car, no one was there and the car was locked.

Investigators were issued a search warrant for Keene’s house in Linville Falls for “probable cause.”

During a search of the house, detectives and SBI agents found human remains entombed in concrete in the basement. An autopsy was performed on the human remains that were located and it was determined through dental records that the remains were that of Keene. The autopsy also concluded that the cause of death was a homicide and that Keene did not die of natural causes.

Detective Tim Austin says after the vehicle was found, he “knew something was up.”

When he and another detective opened the door to the basement, detective Austin says “we saw a large amount of flies and that’s an indicator of something deceased.”

A mass of hardened concrete was found and that’s when the SBI was called in. Agents broke enough of the concrete to discover human remains inside.

The warrant said that on the floor of the main bathroom, investigators saw red strains which were consistent with blood on the walls, floor and ceiling of the bathroom.

Detective Austin then opened a door that led to the bathroom. After opening the door, the smell got stronger and a large number of flies were there, according to the warrant.

After going to the corner of the basement, detectives saw a large box sitting on top of a blue tarp, and there was what appeared to be bodily fluids coming from underneath the tarp.

The warrant says there were open bags of what appeared to be lime and lime dust covering human remains.

According to the warrants, Carserino told Keene’s family she dropped off the cat and the hutch at Keene’s home and left it on the front porch and saw an unknown person reach out and grab the cat and the hutch and put them both in the house,

Carserino had also told Keene’s family that Keene went to Louisiana and brought back a male and a female to the home in Linville Falls.

The warrant states that on August 2, Carserino called Kristen Keene and told her she was staying in Maggie Valley, NC with her son and that she was coming back to Linville Falls to get information from Keene’s Wells Fargo banking account.

Kristen Keene then called Avery County deputies.

Deputies found out that Carserino’s phone had been shut off and that cell phone records showed that she was in the same area where the car was found in Cherokee.

Detectives found that Carserino was at a hospital in Jackson County and was then arrested on August 6.

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