Arrest made in 30-year-old cold case murder

Geneva Stokes
July 19, 2018

Police in IN say they've made an arrest in the decades-old rape and slaying of a little girl whose death was used to taunt not only police but also other young children.

WANE-TV reports Miller appeared Monday morning before an Allen County judge, who gave prosecutors 72 hours to formally charge Miller in the killing. Three of the messages were inside plastic bags containing used condoms with the same DNA profile found in April's underwear and Polaroid pictures of a man's naked lower body.

Two years later in 1990, police came across a message scrawled on the side of a barn that read: "I kill 8 year old April Marie Tisley".

Her murder became the Midwestern state's most notorious cold case.

Prosecutors have until Thursday to file formal charges.

Miller, 59, was arrested Sunday and quickly confessed to what he did, according to the probable cause affidavit.

April's body was found in a ditch, about 30km from her Fort Wayne neighbourhood, three days after she disappeared in April 1988.

The last time 8-year-old April Tinsley was seen alive, a man was dragging her into a beat-up blue pickup truck in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

"Hi honey. I been watching you", read one note released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to the Star.

But finally, after 30 years of searching for answers, investigators experienced a significant break in the case. I am the same person that kidnapped, raped and killed April Tinsely (sic).

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According to court documents, a genealogist from Parabon Nanolabs was hired two months ago to examine DNA evidence rediscovered from Tinsley's clothing.

The case went quiet for 14 years, until in 2004 several notes were discovered in mailboxes and on the bicycles of other young girls. Investigators found her body three days later, about 32 kilometres away. Two years after the horrific murder took place, police discovered a note in a barn near the place from where Tinsley's body was recovered.

The DNA recovered from the condoms matched the DNA material from Tinsley's underwear, investigators were still were unable to come up with a suspect. Police said she'd been raped, but were not able to track down a suspect through DNA.

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

"You got an 8-year-old girl that was sexually assaulted and strangled", Fort Wayne Police Detective Cary Young told Crime Watch Daily.

When the police asked him if he had any idea why he was being asked questions, he reportedly responded "Ashley Tinsley".

Court documents said that when police arrived at Miller's home Sunday, they asked him if he knew why they were there.

The suspect told police he disposed of her body in a ditch the following day.

On Sunday morning, police explained to Miller that they had connected his DNA to the 1988 slaying. Miller told police he choked her for about 10 minutes until she died, so she would not report him to the police, the affidavit said.

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