Arrest Made In April Tinsley Homicide Case

Arrest Made In April Tinsley Homicide Case

Arrest Made In April Tinsley Homicide Case

DNA evidence links an IN man to the murder 30 years ago of an eight-year-old girl, police say.

He is scheduled to appear in court on Monday. A recent search of Miller's trash helped police make a DNA match.

Fourteen years earlier, in 1990, the girl's killer goaded police, scrawling a message on a barn door that admitted to killing the girl and promising more bloodshed. Each note claimed responsibility for Tinsley's murder.

The judge denied his bond and gave the State of IN 72 hours to file formal charges.

Suspected serial killer Joseph James DeAngelo, known as the Golen Stater Killer, was arrested after police used the same technique to track him down in April.

Tinsley was reported missing on April 1, 1988, when she didn't return home from visiting a friend in Fort Wayne.

"I kill 8 year old April M Tinsley", the barn read, according to a recently filed police affidavit.

The note read, "I kill 8-year-old April M. Tinsley did you find her other shoe haha I will kill again".

"Hi honey. I been watching you", he wrote in one of the notes, according to information obtained from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Authorities said DNA testing this year finally led them to Miller.

"I kill 8 year old April Marie Tisley I will kill agin", the message said.

John D. Miller 59 of Grabill. He is accused of murder child molesting and criminal confinement
John D. Miller 59 of Grabill. He is accused of murder child molesting and criminal confinement. Credit Allen County Sheriff's Department

Police say Miller confessed to raping and then choking April Tinsley to death in April 1988 at his mobile home.

It took April Tinsley 10 minutes to die, he told investigators.

In 2004, police were sent to three locations - the 1600 block of Benham Drive in Fort Wayne, Witmer and Roth roads in Grabill, and the 12900 block of Indiana Street in Grabill - where they recovered a used condom at each location. "I will kill again".

Accused killer Miller and a police depiction of the suspect at the time.

Investigators were able to match the DNA on the condoms to DNA recovered April's underwear, providing a concrete link between the messages and the gruesome murder.

The Fort Wayne Police Department submitted the suspect's DNA to Parabon NanoLabs, and this month the firm's genealogist CeCe Moore was able use public genealogy databases to narrow down the suspects to two brothers in the Fort Wayne area.

Three days later - July 9th 2018 - authorities learned that the DNA from those condoms was consistent with that of an "unknown man's" DNA found in Tinsley underwear in 1988.

On May 11 of this year, Fort Wayne Police Det. When detectives asked him if he had any idea why there were there, Miller reportedly responded, "April Tinsley", the affidavit said.

Miller wore a blue jumpsuit, his feet and hands shackled as he appeared Monday before an Allen County judge, who asked him if he understood the preliminary charges he faces.

On Sunday morning, police explained to Miller that they had connected his DNA to the 1988 slaying. He then told police that he drove April's body to Spencerville the next morning and dumped her in a ditch.

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