MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Shirley and Bill Twing shift through family photos of their daughter, killed decades ago by a person dressed as a clown.
“She had a good life in front of her, she was just a very good person,” said her stepfather Bill Twing.
They remember their rambunctious little girl, Marlene Warren whose love for the outdoors would inspire adventures rivaling Tom Sawyer.
“She was outgoing, she liked people,” said her mother Shirley Twing.
She eventually married a man named Michael Warren.
“This was in better days,” said Bill Twing.
In May of 1990, the family album would forever change.
“This is a picture of the front door where she was shot,” said Bill Twing.
Bill Kramer can’t forget the day his neighbor was shot.
“I heard a noise that sounded like a nail gun,” said Kramer who rushed to help along with a neighbor that was a doctor.
“We entered the house and began to do some things at his direction. Very soon thereafter, the paramedics and the police came and we just backed out,” said Kramer.
Warren had been having breakfast with her son when she went to answer the door to the person who would be her killer – dressed as a clown. The person handed her flowers and two balloons.
“She commented how nice. It was at that time the clown pulled out a gun and shot Marlene in the face,” said Detective Paige McCann.
Warren died at the hospital two days later.
Her family’s been pursuing justice ever since.
“The first two years were terrible,” said Bill Twing.
The years kept piling on and frustration started to build up. Her family says prosecutors felt DNA analysis was too weak in the 90’s to push the case forward.
About 12 years after her death, Marlene’s widower Michael married Sheila Keen.
Keen was initially suspected of being the clown.
On Tuesday, authorities arrested her for Marlene’s death – rejuvenating the case, and giving the family some hope for closure.
“All I can say is, she can probably rest in peace now,” said Shirley Twing.
“I’m elated that it happened, that they got somebody but now they have got to push it and finish it and go for the oak hammer, the oak hammer on the desk,” said Bill Twing.
The potential penalty for Keen would be life in prison and potentially the death penalty, according to State Attorney Dave Aronberg.
The lead cold case detective said Michale Warren, former husband of the victim and now married to the accused killer, was interviewed Wednesday.
“The case is still ongoing and we will definitely work diligently to determine if anyone else was involved,” said McCann.