Indiana Man John Miller Arrested for 1988 Murder of April Tinsley

John D. Miller

Modal Trigger John D. Miller Allen County Sheriff's Department

Miller, of Grabill, alleged to have abducted, raped and murdered the little girl in April 1988 as she walked home from a friend's house in Fort Wayne.

April's body was found in a ditch, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) from her Fort Wayne neighborhood, three days after she disappeared in April 1988. When asked why he thought police wanted to talk to him, Miller said "April Tinsley", the affidavit reads.

Miller, 59, has been charged with murder, child molestation and criminal confinement in the death of April Tinsley after a genetics company was able to link Miller to the DNA found on the scene. He is due to appear in court Monday.

Two years after April's murder in 1988 police found a message scrawled on the side of a barn that read: "I kill 8 year old April Marie Tisley".

Miller told detectives that the next morning he dumped her body in a ditch and that he drove by the next day when he did not see it on the news according to the affidavit.

The case saw new life in 1990, when her killer scrawled a message on a barn door: "I kill 8-year-old April Marie Tinsley".

PHOTO: Police received a lead in the murder case of April Tinsley in 2004, when the self-proclaimed killer left notes, images and used condoms at three different locations in Indiana. He answered "April Tinsley", before admitting the crime to investigators, according to court documents. According to a probable cause affidavit released to the media Sunday, Miller's DNA was matched to DNA recovered from Tinsley's underwear in 1988.

As the case stalled, and hundreds of suspects were targeted and cleared, the girls assailant would continue to haunt the Fort Wayne area. He also had found one of her shoes in his vehicle, and he threw that out the auto window along the ditch as he drove by. The same message demanded the young girl report the note to the police; the writer said that if he didnt see a report on the message in the newspaper or local TV, he would blow up the childs house. She had been assaulted and strangled. DNA in the condoms matched that found on April's body.

Over the next few months Miller was quietly investigated by authorities, who collected three used condoms from his trash at a Grabill trailer park on July 6.

'I am the same person that kidnapped, raped and killed April Tinsely.

"It was like a gash in the community's heart", he told The Journal Gazette. Notes at each scene were found stating the person who left the condoms had raped and killed April M. Tinsley.

That then allows police to focus in on potential suspects, and try to obtain specific DNA samples that prove or disprove their suspicions. The lab used its public genealogy databases to flag two possible suspects - brothers. He allegedly admitted to police he abducted Tinsley, took her back to his trailer, and raped her.

He told police he abducted the girl, sexually assaulted her and then killed her to keep her from reporting him to the police, according to court documents.

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