Arrest made in 1988 slaying of Indiana girl

Remigio Civitarese
Luglio 16, 2018

Thirty years after the case was first opened, authorities say John Miller of Grabill made incriminating statements about abducting, assaulting and killing April Tinsley to police in Fort Wayne.

Miller has reportedly been charged with murder, child molesting, and confinement; and is expected to appear in court on Monday.

Miller answered "April Tinsley" and told police that he abducted the young girl on April 1, 1988 and took her to his trailer, where he said he sexually assaulted the young girl and choked her to death, according to court documents.

John Miller, 59, was arrested on Sunday morning after DNA evidence linked him to the rape and murder of April Tinsley, whose body was recovered three days after her family reported her missing in 1988, according to charging documents. Three days later, a jogger discovered April's body about 20 miles to the north in a ditch along a country road in DeKalb County. Miller was arrested Sunday after investigators used DNA and genealogical data to tie him to the case, a probable cause affidavit says.

The suspect told police he disposed of her body in a ditch the following day.

"Hi honey", one note read, according to a picture released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In 2004, he again left threatening notes, nude photos and condoms on bicycles belonging to three girls.

Her murder became the Midwestern state's most notorious cold case. Grotesque messages — left with used condoms and Polaroids — were sent to other little girls who the child killer claimed were next on his list.

Teresa Tinsley and her niece's husband wore bright blue T-shirts that said, "Never Forgotten, Always Remembered" on the front and "April Marie Tinsley 1980-1988" on the back. He allegedly strangled her to keep her from reporting the rape to police.

Police were able to match the DNA from the 2004 notes and condoms to the samples found on April's body in 1988, confirming the incidents were connected. Court documents say he admitted to the girl's death.

On 11 May 2018, detective Brian Martin contracted Parabon NanoLabs - a Virginia-based DNA company involved in a number of cold cases - to analyse the samples, the affidavit states. It's the same technique that led California police to crack the infamous Golden State Killer case.

That testing reduced the pool to two of Miller's surviving brothers via open public geneology databases.

Police approached him on 15 July. There, after advising Miller of his rights, the detectives asked him if he knew why they wanted to speak with him.

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