Arrest made in April Tinsley case

Police arrested John Miller of Grabill, Indiana. Miller has been preliminarily charged with murder, child molesting, and confinement.

Posted: Jul 16, 2018 11:33 AM
Updated: Jul 17, 2018 8:39 AM

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WFFT)- Fort Wayne Police made an arrest Sunday morning in connection with the murder of April Tinsley. 

Police arrested John Miller of Grabill, Indiana. Miller has been preliminarily charged with murder, child molesting, and confinement.

April Tinsley was reported missing by her mom on April 1, 1988 from 307 1/2 W. Williams Street in Fort Wayne. 

A young girl's body was found on April 4th, 1988 in a Spencerville ditch.

According to a probable cause affidavit, the clothing on the body matched that of April Tinsley. A shoe was also found nearby. April's parents, Janet and Michael Tinsley, identified the body as April. 

An autopsy revealed Tinsley was sexually assaulted and choked to death. 

On May 21, 1990, police were called to a barn on Schwartz Road and SR 37. Detectives found writing on the barn that said, "I kill 8 year old April M. Tinsley. Did you find her other shoe. haha. I will kill agin." 

In 2004, police were called to three separate locations, where they found three used condoms, each with a note stating that the person who left the condoms had killed April. A profile was developed, and the DNA in the condoms was found to match the DNA found in April Tinsley's underwear. 

A DNA test narrowed the search for April's killer to John Miller and his brother. The affidavit said police were able to match DNA from John Miller's trash to the DNA collected throughout the investigation. On July 9, 2018 an exact match was made. 

On Sunday morning, police found Miller at his Grabill home. Miller went to the police department and was questioned. Police said Miller knew he was being asked about April Tinsley. Miller said he could not explain what happened with April. He admitted to abducting April from Hoaland Street in Fort Wayne on April 1, 1988. He told police he took her to his trailer and raped her. He also admitted to choking her to death. He told police it took about 10 minutes for April to die. Miller said he drove April's body to Spencerville and dumped her in a ditch. 

Miller will be in court in Allen County on Monday morning for an initial appearance. 

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