Arrest Made In April Tinsley Homicide Case

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A suspected killer in IN who menaced the community for years by leaving threatening notes was arrested Sunday for the rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl in 1988.

John Miller, 59, of Grabill, was arrested Sunday morning by Fort Wayne police and ISP after he reportedly admitted to the murder to detectives. According to a probable cause affidavit filed in Allen County Superior Court, Miller confessed when questioned about Tinsley's death. According to the police the DNA extracted from the condoms matched with the DNA found in the condoms in 2004 and the DNA recovered in Tinsley's underwear in 1988.

PHOTO: Police received a lead in the murder case of April Tinsley in 2004, when the self-proclaimed killer left notes, images and used condoms at three different locations in Indiana. Each note claimed responsibility for Tinsley's murder. If probable cause is found for the charges, the prosecutor's office will have 72 hours to file formal charges against Miller.

In April, DNA testing led to the arrest of "Golden State Killer" Joseph James DeAngelo, who is suspected to have raped and murdered several victims in California in the 1970s.

Thirty years ago, the 8-year-old Tinsley was abducted from her south-central Fort Wayne neighborhood as she walked to a friend's home to pick up an umbrella.

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

The testing was able to narrow down the suspects in the case to Miller and his brother on July 2, the affidavit says.

According to court documents, a detective sent the available evidence in the case to Parabon NanoLabs in May. Investigators found her body three days later, about 20 miles (32 km) away. "Did you find her other shoe haha I will kill agin (sic)".

Accused killer Miller and a police depiction of the suspect at the time.

John D. Miller was arrested in connection to April Tinsley's 1988 murder
John D. Miller was arrested in connection to April Tinsley's 1988 murder

As it turned out, the DNA was a match.

The police obtained Miller's DNA as they collected several items from his trash, which included three used condoms, the affidavit said.

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

For more than 30 years, the mystery of who murdered the 8-year-old IN girl haunted Fort Wayne and frustrated detectives.

Miller was taken to the Allen County Jail in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he is being held on preliminary charges of murder, child molesting and confinement.

He allegedly told police he abducted April and took her back to his trailer where he raped her and strangled her to keep her from going to the police.

When police arrived at Miller's home Sunday and asked if he knew why they were there, he is said to have answered 'April Tinsley, ' according to court papers.

It was featured on America's Most Wanted and Crime Watch Daily, and even as police were putting the cuffs on Miller, the case was scheduled to be featured on an upcoming edition of On The Record With Paula Zahn, according to The Indianapolis Star.

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