FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- Across the lot from her house and down the alley. That's the route neighbors said April Tinsley took the day she went missing.
"She was a very sweet little girl. And she always liked to hug people," said Sharon Smith.
Smith said she remembers April fondly, and she use to play at her house.
"Swimming, and coming to the birthday parties and little summer cookouts. She was always there, and that's why it was hard for me that something happened to her," Smith said.
Smith said before April's death, the kids played outside alone all the time, but after, there was always someone with them.
Just like the other neighborhood kids, April had a plan with her mom. She called her to let her know she got to her friend's house safely. Smith said it could have been any one of the kids in the area.
"There should have been no reason for him to grab her. No reason what so ever. It might have been someone else if she wasn't there," she said.
Sharon Maggert said she had just had her daughter in 1988, and after April's death, she was scared.
"I always kept my kids pretty close. They didn't go too far. I know even the schools teach them nowadays about stranger danger," Maggert said.
It's unclear what John Miller allegedly did back then to get to April, but Smith said she does know one thing.
"He should get the death penalty."
Miller appeared in court Thursday morning. His trial will be set on August 3rd.
- Residents talk about changes after April Tinsley's death
- April Tinsley case featured on Investigation Discovery
- Arrest made in April Tinsley case
- April Tinsley's mom questions suspected killer's motive
- Trial set for April Tinsley's alleged murderer
- Community remembers April Marie Tinsley, case still unsolved
- Local woman wrote song to remember April Tinsley
- Memorial held for April Tinsley two weeks after Miller's arrest
- Candle light walk, ride held for April Tinsley
- Balloon launch to remember April Tinsley and other child victims of violence