DNA ties ‘killer clown’ suspect to 27-year-old cold case

Florida investigators on Thursday released DNA evidence that they say helped lead to the arrest of a woman suspected of dressing up as a clown and fatally shooting her future husband’s then-wife 27 years ago.

Palm Beach County prosecutors said that recent forensic tests conducted by the FBI concluded that hair fibers found in a suspected getaway car could have come from Sheila Keen Warren.

“Sometimes justice can be delayed,” Palm Beach County state attorney Dave Aronberg told the Sun-Sentinel, “but justice eventually arrives.”

The nearly 3,000-page report also included financial statements, witness statements and previously unreleased police reports, the Palm Beach Post reported.

Keen Warren, now 54, had long been suspected of disguising herself in a clown costume and murdering Marlene Warren, 40, on her front doorstep in 1990. Authorities arrested Keen Warren on charges of first-degree murder in September 2017 at the Abington, Va., home that she shared with her husband, Michael Warren, who had previously been married to Marlene Warren.

Prosecutors have said they would seek the death penalty if Keen Warren, who has remained in jail without bond, is convicted. Authorities have not ruled out Michael Warren as a possible suspect in the slaying, though he was on a trip with friends at the time his wife was slain, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

Marlene Warren opened the front door of her Wellington, Fla., home on the morning of May 26 nearly 27 years ago to find a clown in an orange wig and red nose, holding two foil balloons and carnations. The clown handed her the gifts, shot her in the face, and drove away in a Chrysler LeBaron convertible, authorities have said.

Keen Warren and Michael Warren had been rumored to be having an affair before the victim’s death. Witness statements said Marlene had confronted Keen Warren about the affair with her husband, according to the Sun-Sentinel. But the two denied ever having a relationship.

Michael Warren’s employees told detectives he had said he would never divorce because his wife would get half his assets.

The couple had amassed rental properties valued at upwards of $1.1 million by the time of Marlene Warren’s murder, the Palm Beach Post reported, citing court records.

Michael Warren’s primary business at the time had been a used car lot and Sheila Keen did repossessions for him. The two were married in 2002 after Michael Warren served almost four years in prison for grand theft, racketeering and odometer tampering.

The couple had moved to Virginia, and operated a restaurant together in nearby Kingsport, Tenn., which they sold a year before Keen Warren’s arrest. They have both continued to deny involvement in the murder.

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