Marlene Warren was ending breakfast along with her son and his associates on May 26, 1990, when a white Chrysler LeBaron pulled into the driveway of her residence exterior West Palm Beach, Florida.
Someone dressed as a clown emerged from the automotive carrying two balloons and a flower association, authorities stated.
When Warren answered the door, the clown handed her the presents, in response to detective Paige McCann of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. “Warren said something like, ‘How nice,’” McCann stated.
The clown then pulled out a gun, shot Warren within the face, walked again to the automotive and calmly drove away.
Warren died two days later in a hospital.
Arrest many years later
At the time, investigators stated that they had recognized a suspect however didn’t have sufficient proof for a conviction. No arrests had been made within the brazen killing — till Tuesday.
Sheila Keen, who married the slain girl’s husband 12 years after the killing, was taken into custody in Abingdon, Virginia, a mountain city greater than 800 miles from the location of the slaying.
Keen, 54, has been charged with first-degree homicide in Warren’s killing 27 years in the past. No plea has been entered but.
She waived extradition again to Florida, and prosecutors will announce whether or not they are going to search the loss of life penalty as soon as she returns to the state, in response to Palm Beach County State Attorney David Aronberg .
CNN has reached out to the suspect’s lawyer for remark.
Married sufferer’s husband
For years, there have been no breaks within the case till 2014, when the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office chilly case unit reopened the investigation.
Authorities tracked down witnesses, re-interviewed them and examined proof utilizing DNA expertise not obtainable in 1990, in response to McCann.
Detectives additionally found the suspect married Michael Warren, the widower of the sufferer, in 2002. When detectives first appeared into the killing, they heard rumors the suspect was having an affair with Michael Warren, McCann stated.
At the time, Michael Warren and Keen denied having an affair.
They have been collectively in a automotive when she was arrested Tuesday, stated Fred Newman, the sheriff in Washington County, Virginia.
Michael Warren has not been charged, however the investigation shouldn’t be over, Florida investigators stated.
The Miami Herald reported that the suspect used to run a automotive repossession enterprise in South Florida. Michael Warren was one in all her prospects, and operated his personal used-car and rental-car companies, the newspaper stated.
Before her arrest, the couple lived round Abingdon and close by Kingsport, Tennessee, for a number of years, authorities stated.
Advances in expertise
Palm Beach County investigators declined to share extra particulars in regards to the case, saying the investigation is ongoing.
But they stated they decided the balloons and flowers have been bought the day of the killing at a grocery retailer close to the suspect’s residence.
Investigators additionally found that the suspect and Michael Warren had possession of the automotive earlier than the killing, McCann stated. That automotive was a rental from one other firm that prospects mistakenly returned to Michael Warren’s automotive lot, she stated.
Palm Beach County Sheriff Rick Bradshaw stated developments in DNA proof helped seal the case. In 1990, the proof was simply not sturdy sufficient to safe a conviction, he stated.
Investigators wouldn’t go into specifics about what DNA proof strengthened the case. But in 2000, investigators stated they hoped orange fibers and brown hair discovered within the automotive would assist them discover the killer, in response to the Miami Herald.
“Remember the days when we had the cell phones … that looked like a brick, and now we got smartphones that you can do everything on,” he stated. “That’s the difference between the technology back when this happened and today. It’s exponentially so much better to assist us in making sure we have the right person.”
‘I had faith’
The sufferer’s mom, Shirley Twing, stated she at all times believed an arrest could be made in her daughter’s killing.
“Kind of choked me up a bit. … Sometimes I feel like crying when I’m talking about it,” Twing advised CNN affiliate WPTV.
“I had faith … never gave up, you know?” she stated, thanking investigators for his or her work.
Joseph Ahrens, the sufferer’s son, advised CNN he was grateful of the progress within the chilly case.
“I think they took so long to make an arrest because they just wanted to be sure they had the right person,” he stated.