September 27, 2017 12:15 PM EDT
Sheila Warren (Paul Beach County Sheriff/Facebook)
Sheila Warren
Paul Beach County Sheriff/Facebook

Authorities have arrested a Virginia woman who they believe dressed up as a clown 27 years ago to kill the wife of a man she was having an affair with.

There had been no arrest in the 1990 cold case until Tuesday, when authorities charged 54-year-old Sheila Keen-Warren with first-degree murder with a firearm, Washington County Virginia Sheriff Fred Newman said at a news conference.

The long-unsolved crime occurred when a person dressed as a clown arrived at 40-year-old Marlene Warren’s home in Palm Beach County, Fla., carrying flowers and balloons, according to the Palm Beach Post. Seconds later, the clown pulled out a gun and shot Warren in the face before calmly walking back to a vehicle and fleeing, the newspaper said. Warren later died of her injuries.

Investigators believe Keen-Warren was having an affair with the victim’s husband, Michael Warren. The suspect and the victim’s husband later got married and opened a restaurant together, the Post reported. The cold case was reopened in 2014, and the investigation led authorities to suspect Keen-Warren.

“Any murder’s horrific. It doesn’t matter whether you’re wearing a clown costume or not,” said Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Sgt. Richard McAfee. “It just took us 27 years to bring closure to the victim’s family. Murder cases never go away.”

Michael Warren was not arrested at the time Keen-Warren was taken into custody, according to NBC News.

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