Arrest made in 30-year-old child murder after DNA match

April Tinsley went missing

A photo of April Tinsley was placed in the garden that was dedicated in her honour near where she disappeared in Fort Wayne, Ind. Authorities say after his arrest Sunday in connection with Tinsley's death, John Miller agreed to speak with police in Fort Wayne and made incriminating statements about abducting, assaulting and killing Tinsley. When they asked if he had any idea why police wanted to talk to him, Miller responded "Ashley Tinsley", the affidavit said.

Miller, 59, of Grabill was arrested Sunday on preliminary murder, child molesting and criminal confinement charges in April Marie Tinsley's slaying. He's scheduled to appear Thursday in Allen Superior Court for a formal arraignment.

Tinsley was abducted April 1, 1988, while walking in her Fort Wayne neighborhood. Her body was found three days later by a jogger; she had been sexually assaulted, strangled, and left for dead.

It's still unclear how detectives Brian Martin of the Fort Wayne Police Department and Clint Hetrick of the Indiana State Police used DNA information in the Tinsley case, but the affidavit says they worked with "highly trained genealogist" CeCe Moore, a genetic genealogist.

In 2004, the affidavit said, police were dispatched to a Fort Wayne address and two Grabill addresses and recovered one used condom from each scene.

Parabon Nanolabs was contracted for the testing, and they were able to narrow down the DNA to two living brothers using an open public genealogy base. He answered "April Tinsley", before admitting the crime to investigators, according to court documents. "I will kill again".

The affidavit filed Sunday states Miller confessed after learning about the DNA match.

"This case, it was one that stayed with us, stayed with me", Paul Helmke, a former Fort Wayne mayor, told the paper.

On 9 July, investigators learned that the DNA from his refuse matched the previous samples.

Two years after the murder, police found a note on a barn close to where her body was found in DeKalb County.

The prosecutor's office also will hold a press conference on the case at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the Police Operations Center in the Rousseau Centre at Main and Calhoun streets.

Police were able to match the DNA from the 2004 notes and condoms to the samples found on April's body in 1988, confirming the incidents were connected.

Investigators sent DNA recovered from the Tinsley case to the Parabon Nanolabs.

Miller told detectives he choked her to death so that she wouldn't report him to police.

The next day, after he saw no news reports about the case, Miller said he drove by the site where he had dumped the body. When asked to explain what happened to Tinsley, Miller looked at police and said "I can't", according to court documents.

Janet Tinsley of Fort Wayne has posted on her Facebook page that the 1988 abduction and murder of her daughter, April Marie Tinsley, will be the subject of the program "On the Case with Paula Zahn" at 10 p.m. today on the Investigation Discovery Channel cable TV network.



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