Arrest Finally Made in Notorious 1988 Murder

Cops say suspect taunted them for years
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2018 2:26 AM CDT
Updated Jul 16, 2018 6:03 AM CDT
Arrest Finally Made in Notorious 1988 Murder
John D. Miller.   (Allen County Sheriff's Department)

Police in Indiana believe they have finally caught a suspect whose sickening crime has haunted investigators for more than 30 years. Grabill resident John D. Miller, 59, was arrested early Sunday and police say he has confessed to kidnapping, raping, and strangling 8-year-old Fort Wayne girl April Tinsley on Good Friday, 1988, the Indianapolis Star reports. Miller was arrested just hours before Investigation Discovery's On the Case With Paula Zahn aired an episode on the cold case and the search for the killer, who is believed to have repeatedly taunted police in the 30 years since the little girl's murder.

In 1990, the words "I kill 8 year old April M Tinsley did you find her other shoe haha I will kill agin" were found scrawled on a barn, WANE reports. In 2004, threatening notes, used condoms, and photos of a man's lower body were left at four locations in the Fort Wayne area, including on the bicycles of young girls. The DNA matched that found on April's body, and police say testing of evidence samples led them to Miller, who was placed under surveillance earlier this month. According to an affidavit, when police went to his trailer Sunday and asked if he knew why they were there, he said: "April Tinsley." Paul Helmke, who was Fort Wayne's mayor in 1988, tells the Journal Gazette that the murder was like a "gash in the community's heart" and he never stopped hoping for a breakthrough. (More cold cases stories.)

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