WELLINGTON — Police have arrested a woman, who they say dressed up as a clown with an orange wig, carrying balloons and shot the wife of her future husband in 1990.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office says Sheila Keen Warren, 54, was arrested Tuesday in Virginia.
In her mugshot, she can be seen smiling ear to ear, in a creepy, clown-like way. She has been indicted by a Florida grand jury for first-degree murder.
“Thousands of man-hours have been put in in the last 27 years,” Washington County Sheriff Fred Newman said Tuesday. “We’re more than glad to be able to help to bring this to a successful conclusion.”
The victim, Marlene Warren, was shot in front of her son and his friends when she answered her door at her Wellington home in May 1990. Sheila Keen was initially a suspect but nothing ever came of it.
“Any murder’s horrific. It doesn’t matter whether you’re wearing a clown costume or not,” Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Sgt. Richard McAfee said.
Keen was seen the day of the murder in a clown costume, orange wig and bulb nose carrying flowers and balloons – one reading “You’re the greatest!”
“This is the strangest thing I’ve seen in all my 19 years in law enforcement,” Bob Ferrell, a former spokesman for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office said at the time.
“As she went to take the flowers and balloons, the clown shot her. As far as I know, nothing was said,” Ferrell added.
The case was reopened by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office in 2014 and new DNA analysis was carried out.
Keen married Michael Warren in 2002 and the two were living in Tennessee, where they were running a restaurant. Clown-themed no doubt.
For now, Warren isn’t a suspect. Although he was sentenced to prison on 43 counts of odometer tampering, grand theft and racketeering at his car rental agency in Palm Beach. He served three years in prison and then married Keen, who was working repossessing cars. No word whether or not they were clown cars.