Police make arrest in connection with 30 year old cold case

Police have arrested a man in connection with Fort Wayne's most notorious cold case.

Posted: Jul. 15, 2018 11:53 PM
Updated: Jul. 16, 2018 2:53 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Police have arrested a man in connection with Fort Wayne's most notorious cold case.

Sunday morning, Fort Wayne Police Department and Indiana State Police Arrested 59-year-old John D. Miller for the April 1988 homicide of April Tinsley.

April 1, 1988, is the last time anyone saw eight-year-old April Tinsely alive.

Police canvased her neighborhood after April's mother, Janet Tinsely, reported her missing.

Three days later, April 4, her body was found in a ditch near county road 68 in Spencerville Indiana. She was molested and suffocated. Her death ruled a homicide.

A forensic examination of her underwear revealed DNA from an unknown male - but it wasn't until 30 years later that police were able to find a match.

DNA from condoms found in 2004 matched the DNA found in Tinsley's underwear, and in 2018 the suspect's DNA was narrowed down to two surviving brothers - John D. Miller was one of them.

Police collected several items from Miller's trashcan located near his trailer in the 13 thousand block of Main Street in Grabill, including three used condoms.

Three days later - July 9, 2018 - authorities learned that the DNA from those condoms was consistent with that of an "unknown man's" DNA found in Tinsley underwear in 1988.

Sunday, Miller was called in for questioning and when asked if he knew why the police wanted to talk to him, he replied "April Tinsley."

According to a probable cause affidavit, Detectives told him they had a DNA match in the rape and murder of Tinsley.

That's when Miller admitted to abducting Tinsley from Hoagland Street in Fort Wayne, taking her to his trailer, and having sex with her.

He reportedly told police he choked her to death so that she would not report him to the police. Then he dumped her body the next day.

Miller is now booked in the Allen County Jail. His first court appearance is Monday morning

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