Published: Mon, July 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

April Tinsley: DNA snares man in IN girl's 1988 murder

April Tinsley: DNA snares man in IN girl's 1988 murder

Authorities have made an arrest related to the 1988 cold case death of 8-year-old April Tinsley.

Miller was taken into custody Sunday at his Grabill, Ind., home by Fort Wayne Police Department and Indiana State Police, court documents said.

According to the affidavit, police approached Miller after a DNA technology company that was working with Fort Wayne Police narrowed a suspect to two brothers: Miller and another man. Prosecutors have 72 hours to file formal charges in the case. When asked to explain what happened to Tinsley, Miller looked at police and said "I can't", according to court documents.

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.

DNA collected from three used condoms left along with the notes was consistent with DNA collected from Tinsley's body, according to court documents.

The same court papers say he subsequently admitted abducting April, taking her to his trailer, having sex with her and killing her.

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'Hi honey. I been watching you, ' one note read.

Some of the notes, which were handwritten on lined yellow paper, were inside baggies along with Polaroid pictures of the supposed killer's body, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which has also been investigating the case. The 59-year-old is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Monday morning. "I am the same person that kidnapped, raped and killed April Tinsely". 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.

April's father still is struggling with whether police really have the right man this time because there have been other suspects over the years that didn't turn out to be valid, she said.

Authorities said DNA testing this year finally led them to Miller. Investigators then began conducting surveillance on Miller. According to the probable cause affidavit, the DNA from the recently obtained condoms matched the DNA from the 2004 condoms, which matched the genetic profile found on the victim.

Miller, of the 13700 block of Main Street in Grabill, was arrested on preliminary charges of murder, child molesting, and criminal confinement.

The affidavit says that when confronted by detectives on 15 July, the accused said he abducted April, took her to his trailer and sexually assaulted her.

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