A DNA match led police to arrest an Indiana man in the murder and rape of an 8-year-old girl more than 30 years ago.
April Tinsley’s killer spent decades taunting police, leaving behind clues that later helped police in Fort Wayne, Indiana crack the case, according to court documents.
John D. Miller, 59, was booked in Allen County Jail on Sunday and charged with murder, child molesting and criminal confinement.
According to a probable cause affidavit, on April 8, 1988 police found Tinsley’s body in a ditch in Spencerville – about 20 miles from Fort Wayne. An autopsy determined that Tinsley’s cause of death was asphyxiation with indications of sexual assault. Forensic examination of Tinsley’s underwear found DNA from an unknown male, the affidavit said.
According to the affidavit, in May of 1990 police found a note in a barn saying “I kill 8 year old April M Tinsley did you find her other shoe haha i will kill agin.” In 2004, police found three used condoms and a note saying that the person who left them had raped and killed Tinsley, the affidavit said.
In 2018 detectives arranged for the samples to be taken in for genetic DNA testing. The tests helped police narrow down the suspects to two surviving brothers, according to the affidavit. In July 2018 police obtained Miller’s DNA by collecting several items from his trash, including three used condoms, the affidavit said. Police said the DNA extracted from the condoms was consistent with the DNA found in the condoms in 2004 and the DNA recovered in Tinsley’s underwear in 1988, according to the affidavit.
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SOURCE: TIME, Gina Martinez