Arrest made in 27-year-old Wellington 'clown murder' cold case

WELLINGTON, Fla. - An arrest was made Tuesday in a 27-year-old "clown murder" cold case, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. 

Marlene Warren was fatally shot in Wellington on May 26, 1990, when a person dressed as a clown carrying a flower arrangement and two balloons pulled into her driveway in a white Chrysler LeBaron. The clown offered 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.

“Kind of a sigh of relief.  Kind of choked me up a bit. Thinking about…sometimes I feel like crying when I’m talking about it," Marlene's mom, Shirley Twing told NewsChannel 5 over the phone from Las Vegas about the arrest. "Thank you," she said to the investigators, chuckling to herself. "That’s all I can say. I had faith...never gave up, you know? They got it in their mind so eventually it works out for them. And me!”

Bill Kramer still remembers the day he heard what were likely the gunshots that killed his neighbor.

“I was walking my big Labrador Retriever and I heard what sounded like a nail gun,” said Kramer. 
 
He also still remembers walking over there with another neighbor who was a doctor to try and help until ambulances arrived.

Warren sustained a gunshot wound to the face and was transported to Palm West Hospital, where she died two days later, according to the report. 

The initial investigation led detectives to identify the suspect as Sheila Keen, however, an arrest was never made. 

The homicide investigation was reopened in 2014. Witnesses were re-contacted and additional DNA analysis was conducted. 

Officials learned that Sheila Keen married Michael Warren, the victim's husband, in 2002. 

According to the report, the couple was living in Tennessee where they operated a restaurant together. 

As a result of the investigation, Sheila Keen was linked to the murder of Marlene Warren. 

The case was presented to a grand jury on Aug. 31, 2017, and a true bill for first-degree murder was issued and an arrest warrant was obtained for Warren. 

Sheila Keen was located in Washington County, Va., and arrested without incident on Tuesday. 

Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office detectives thanked Washington County Sheriff Fred Newman for his agencies assistance. 

PBSO detectives received 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 Office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations.

Michael Warren was not arrested, but the investigation is ongoing. Michael Warren served several years in prison after he was convicted of grand theft, racketeering and odometer tampering, connected to a used car business.

Sheila Keen had a court hearing in Virginia on Wednesday morning but waived her right to appear. She will be sent back to Florida to face charges.
 

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