Grant funding, new technology led to arrest in 'clown murder'


Coulrophobes who are terrified of clowns may want to keep an eye out; #America's killer clown epidemic has been reignited in Virginia, where authorities say a local woman has been arrested in a peculiar investigation of a decades-old murder.

Investigators from Palm Beach County and Washington County in Virginia said she was behind the so-called clown murder in the community of Wellington 27 years ago.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office announced on Tuesday they had arrested one of their prime suspects from the start: Sheila Keen Warren. Warren reportedly appeared at her victim's Wellington home dressed as a clown and holding flowers and two balloons, one saying "You're the best".

She had gone to fetch the flowers and the balloons when she was shot. They also learned that their initial suspect, Sheila Keen Warren, had been having an affair with her boss and the victim's husband, Michael Warren.

"Witnesses were re-contacted and additional DNA analysis was conducted", the sheriff's office said in its release. Deputies also learned that Sheila Keen married Marlene Warren's former husband, Michael Warren, in 2002.

After Michael Warren and Keen Warren married in 2002 they settled in rural southwest Virginia, in the Blue Ridge Mountains close to the Tennessee border.

Police have not said whether Michael is involved in his former wife's death.

On Tuesday, Warren was found in Washington County, Va. and was arrested. The balloons police found at the scene were traced back to a shop near Keen's home, and a woman matching her description was seen buying them in the hours before the shooting. She waived extradition on Wednesday.

Her son heard the gunfire and found his mother bleeding to death. "We've only got one shot".

Investigators haven't said whether Michael Warren will face charges.

Sheila Keen Warren allegedly shot Marlene Warren in 1990.

The father of the victim said she slept over at a friend's house on September 8 and sneaked out to meet with three men, one of whom she knew from Snapchat.

By then, DNA testing was far more advanced than it had been in the early 1990s, and they chose to pursue charges against Keen-Warren after they retested orange fibers and hair strands they found in the vehicle the killer was believed to have used. Bill Twing says, "you do something and it jogs a memory, and it brings it forward".

She repossessed cars for his auto dealership, and when Shelia separated from her husband five months before the murder, Michael started paying her rent.

"I feel like crying now, but I'm glad it's over". New technology allowed them to reopen the case in 2014. The couple was said to have moved to Tennessee, according to the Washington Post.