Louis Sessa finally got the phone call he'd been waiting for Tuesday: A suspect had been arrested in a cold-case killing that had haunted him for almost three decades.
For 27 years, investigators thought Sheila Keen had something to do with the clown who drove up to a home in Wellington, Florida, with flowers, balloons and a gun, and killed 40-year-old Marlene Warren.
Virginia police have arrested Sheila Keen Warren in connection to the 1990 murder of Marlene Warren.
On a May morning in 1990, Marlene Warren answered her front door in an upscale Florida suburb to find a clown in an orange wig, red nose and white face paint handing her carnations and foil balloons.
But officials say they didn't have enough evidence to charge Keen Warren in the case until now.
Without the new evidence, they likely would not have been able to convince a jury of Keen Warren's guilt, they said.
"I didn't think that it would ever happen; there's always hope, but I'd prefer to have her instead", Marlene Warren's 87-year-old mother, Shirley Twing, told the Florida Sun-Sentinel after the arrest was announced. "Sometimes patience is the best".
Palm Beach County authorities have from the beginning suspected Marlene Warren's husband, Michael Warren, and Sheila - they were accused of having an affair at the time of the murder. Both, however, have denied that they were romantically involved at the time of the 1990 murder.
NBC News reported cops were told early in the murder investigation that Michael and Sheila were having an affair.
Detectives in the initial investigation developed several people of interest, including Sheila Keen. She worked for Warren's dealership, repossessing cars.
After the shooting, the clown dropped the bouquet and two balloons, one of which had Snow White's picture on it.
One of the two balloons - the silver one that read, "You're the Greatest" - was sold at only one store, a Publix supermarket near her home.
Shelia Keen was 27 and worked for Michael Warren at his West Palm Beach used vehicle lot.
Marlene died of her injuries two days after the shooting. The couple had been running a fast food restaurant called the Purple Cow in Tennessee. They sold it past year. Sheila Keen was considered a suspect but was not arrested.
Palm Beach County Sheriff Rick Bradshaw said his office has solved six or seven cold case murders within the a year ago. Aherns, who was in cast at the time from a auto crash, said he made his way to his mother and yelled at the clown, prompting the shooter to turn around.
She was taken to the Southwest Regional Jail in Abingdon, Va., where she is waiting for extradition to Palm Beach County, Fla.
They sent the DNA back to the lab and also found out about the Warren-Keen nuptials.
And Keen's neighbors said Warren visited Keen often.
While never charged with Marlene Warren's murder, Michael Warren did go down in 1992 on a trunkload of charges connected with his ownership of West Palm Beach's Bargain Motors - one count of racketeering, six counts of grand theft between $300 and $20,000, and 21 counts of odometer tampering.
All along investigators had an idea of who the killer was and they tracked her down in Virginia.
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