Published: Thu, July 19, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Police make arrest in connection with 30 year old cold case

Police make arrest in connection with 30 year old cold case

Fort Wayne Police and Indiana State Police detectives then put John D. Miller under surveillance at his mobile home in the 13700 block of Main Street in Grabill, where he was the only occupant.

Miller is scheduled to appear in Allen Superior Court Monday morning for an initial hearing.

Earlier this month, police began to watch Miller, and took three used condoms from his trash, the affidavit said. A judge gave prosecutors until Thursday to formally charge him. It wasn't immediately known if Miller has a lawyer who could comment on the arrest.

Tinsley's body was found in a ditch, about 20 miles from her Fort Wayne neighborhood, three days after she disappeared in April 1988.

Wayne police officers and family members put out fliers and drove the city looking for April.

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

"Hi, honey, I been watching you", said a letter published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In 2004, he again left threatening notes, nude photos and condoms on bicycles belonging to three girls. "(D) id you find the other shoe haha I will kill again".

According to a probable cause affidavit, Detectives told him they had a DNA match in the rape and murder of Tinsley. But the DNA material recovered from the condoms did match the evidence recovered from Tinsleys underwear — concretely linking the deranged 2004 notes with the 1988 killing.

The note threatened that the child would be next and her house would "blow up" if she didn't report the message to police as well as have it publicized in the media. Miller abducted Tinsley, sexually assaulted her inside his trailer, and choked her to death-noting that it took ten minutes for her to die.

The testing was able to narrow down the suspects in the case to Miller and his brother on July 2, the affidavit says. He answered "April Tinsley", before admitting the crime to investigators, according to court documents.

Although the message initially failed to steer investigators to Tinsleys killer, it was not the last word from the alleged murderer.

Eight-year-old April Tinsley was kidnapped on April 1, 1988. According to police, authorities used a public DNA database to identify him as a suspect.

Miller reportedly told cops he had done so to stop the girl telling police what he had done, and that he dumped her body the next morning. A detective commissioned Parabon Nanolabs, a DNA analysis company, to run another test.

DNA evidence and records on publicly accessible genealogical websites helped investigators track down the suspect, the Fort Wayne police department said in a court filing on Sunday, following a pattern similar to that used to track down the so-called Golden State Killer in California earlier this year. Miller allegedly admitted that at this time, he discovered one of Tinsley's shoes in the vehicle, and tossed it out along the ditch.

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