‘Clown murder': A timeline of important events leading to the arrest of Sheila Keen-Warren

WELLINGTON, Fla. - A clown costume, balloons and a handful of carnations disguised a killer who has been on the run for 27 years. 

Marlene Warren died after she was shot in the face by a person standing at her front door, disguised in a clown costume. Earlier this week, Palm Beach County Sheriff deputies finally made an arrest in the case: Sheila Keen-Warren. 

Contact 5 Investigators briefly spoke to Keen-Warren's son, Charles Keen, in Loxahatchee. “I was three [at the time], and nope,” Keen said when asked if he had any comment about the arrest.

Here is a timeline of important events involving the "clown murder" case:

  • 04/27/1972 Michael Warren marries Marlene Ahrens
  • 05/13/1987 Richard Keen marries Sheila Sheltra. Three months later she gives birth to their son, Charles.
  • 01/17/1990 Sheila Keen files a petition for injunction against domestic violence of Richard Keen. Court grants a temporary injunction after records show Keen grabbed and threatened her. According to news reports, Sheila Keen moved out of their house in Loxahatchee and into an apartment that Michael Warren allegedly paid the rent for. Sheila Keen and Michael Warren were rumored to have an affair. Neighbors said they spotted Michael Warren and Sheila Keen together frequently.
  • 05/26/1990 A person dressed as a clown carrying a flower arrangement and two balloons pulled into the Warren driveway in Wellington in a white Chrysler LeBaron. The clown offered Marlene Warren the items as she answered the front door and then killed her.  Witnesses said they heard a gunshot before Warren fell to the ground. The person dressed as a clown calmly walked back to the car and drove away, they said.
  • 05/28/1990 Marlene Warrens dies from a gunshot wound at Palms West Hospital.
  • 05/30/1990 Detectives recover the car allegedly used, which contained brown hair and orange fibers. Detectives developed people of interest during the investigation. PBSO believed Keen and Warren had an affair, but the two denied being involved in a relationship at the time of the murder.
  • 10/26/1990 Michael Warren arrested for racketeering, odometer tampering, grand theft. Warren was accused of repossessing cars he had sold at this West Palm Beach auto dealership, saying they were stolen and collecting the insurance money.
  • 1992 Michael Warren is convicted of 43 counts of racketeering, odometer tampering, grand theft. 
  • 03/31/1994 Michael Warren goes to prison
  • 12/31/1997 Michael Warren is released from prison
  • 04/29/1999 Richard and Sheila Keen divorce
  • 08/15/2002 Michael Warren marries Sheila Keen in Las Vegas
  • 2014 PBSO reopens the case with a grant received for unsolved murder cases. A task force forms with PBSO, the State Attorney’s Office and the FBI. Investigators reinterview witnesses, review evidence and submit it for DNA analysis.
  • 03/28/2016 Richard Keen dies
  • 08/31/2017 A Palm Beach County grand jury indicts Sheila Keen-Warren for first-degree murder. The grand jury found Keen-Warren shot Marlene Warren on May 26, 1990.
  • 09/26/2017 Keen-Warren is arrested in Washington County, Virginia by PBSO detectives with assistance from the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office, U.S. Marshal’s Task Force Western District of Virginia, Detectives from the Washington County Virginia Sheriff’s and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations. 
  • 09/27/2017 Keen-Warren waves extradition in Virginia, expected to return to Palm Beach County to be booked into the jail.
  • 09/28/2017 Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aaronberg announces the penalty for Keen-Warren, if convicted, will be either life in prison or the death penalty. Aaronberg says he will make a decision whether his office will pursue the death penalty once Keen-Warren is brought back to Palm Beach County.
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