DNA tech breaks Florida killer clown cold-case, leads to woman’s arrest 27 years later

(CNN) — Marlene Warren was finishing breakfast with her son and his friends on May 26, 1990, when a white Chrysler LeBaron pulled into the driveway of her home outside West Palm Beach, Florida.

Someone dressed as a clown emerged from the car carrying two balloons and a flower arrangement, authorities said.

When Warren answered the door, the clown handed her the gifts, according to detective Paige McCann of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. “Warren said something like, ‘How nice,’” McCann said.

The clown then pulled out a gun, shot Warren in the face, walked back to the car and calmly drove away.

Warren died two days later in a hospital.

Arrest decades later

Sheila Keen, who married the slain woman’s husband 12 years after the killing, was taken into custody in Abingdon, Virginia, a mountain town more than 800 miles from the site of the slaying.
Credit: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

At the time, investigators said they had identified a suspect but didn’t have enough evidence for a conviction. No arrests had been made in the brazen killing — until Tuesday.

Sheila Keen, who married the slain woman’s husband 12 years after the killing, was taken into custody in Abingdon, Virginia, a mountain town more than 800 miles from the site of the slaying.

Keen, 54, has been charged with first-degree murder in Warren’s killing 27 years ago. No plea has been entered yet.

She waived extradition back to Florida, and prosecutors will announce whether they will seek the death penalty once she returns to the state, according to Palm Beach County State Attorney David Aronberg .

CNN has reached out to the suspect’s lawyer for comment.

Married victim’s husband

For years, there were no breaks in the case until 2014, when the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office cold case unit reopened the investigation.

Authorities tracked down witnesses, re-interviewed them and examined evidence using DNA technology not available in 1990, according to…

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