DNA leads IN police to suspect IN 30-year-old murder case

Police arrested John D. Miller 59 for the 1988 murder of 8-year-old April Tinsley

A suspected killer in IN who menaced the community for years by leaving threatening notes was arrested Sunday for the rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl in 1988.

Sunday morning, Fort Wayne Police Department and Indiana State Police Arrested 59-year old John D. Miller for the April 1988 homicide of April Tinsley.

Authorities said DNA from the condoms was tested and found to match DNA recovered from April, but there was no other identifying information.

Police said the killer scrawled a message on a barn door two years later, threatening to kill again.

In April, DNA testing led to the arrest of "Golden State Killer" Joseph James DeAngelo, who is suspected to have raped and murdered several victims in California in the 1970s.

The Fort Wayne girl's body was found three days after her April 1988 abduction in a ditch about 20 miles away.

According to police, Miller confessed to abducting the first-grader near her Fort Wayne home, before raping and killing her in 1988.

April left her family's home on West Williams Street on April 1, 1988.

"Hi honey. I been watching you", read one note released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to the Star.

John D. Miller was arrested in connection to April Tinsley's 1988 murder
John D. Miller was arrested in connection to April Tinsley's 1988 murder

After the DNA evidence led them to Miller, he is alleged to have been asked to explain Tinsley's disappearance and replied: "I can't". Prosecutors and police have declined to comment before a news conference scheduled for Tuesday morning. "I am the same person that kidnapped, raped and killed April Tinsley". Earlier this month Fort Wayne police went through his trash and found more used condoms, and additional DNA tying him to Tinsley, according to court documents.

It took April Tinsley 10 minutes to die, he told investigators. Her body was found days later in Spencerville. "Did you find her other shoe haha I will kill agin (sic)". Along with the condoms, police found notes saying the person who left the condoms had raped and killed Tinsley.

The DNA recovered from the condoms matched the DNA material from Tinsley's underwear, investigators were still were unable to come up with a suspect. When asked why he thought police wanted to talk to him, Miller said "April Tinsley", the affidavit reads.

Investigators developed a DNA profile from the condoms, and "it was determined to be consistent with the profile developed from the underwear of April M. Tinsley".

"You got an 8-year-old girl that was sexually assaulted and strangled", Fort Wayne Police Detective Cary Young told Crime Watch Daily.

Last April, to mark the 30th anniversary of April's murder, Janet Tinsley made a decision to hold a balloon release in a small neighborhood park dedicated to April near her home. Then, he admitted to dumping her body, police say.

Miller was booked into the Allen County Jail on Sunday on charges of murder, child molesting and criminal confinement.

In May, the Fort Wayne Police Department submitted the suspect's DNA to Parabon NanoLabs.

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