In 1988, an 8-year-old girl, was raped and murdered after being abducted from her neighborhood in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
April Tinsley’s body was discovered from a rural area after twenty days. An autopsy revealed the toddler’s cause of death. However, the investigators were unable to catch the child-killer, John D. Miller, who had killed Tinsley in the month of April.
Police launched an investigation but couldn’t get hold of the monster that killed the girl. He also kept haunting investigators for 30 years with taunting messages and clues claiming he murdered Tinsley and “would kill again.”
After almost 3 decades, the 59-year-old was arrested for murdering Tinsley, all thanks to the advancements in genealogy and DNA technology. According to Allen County Court's website, Miller was charged with murder, child molesting and criminal confinement of a victim who was under 14-years of age.
According to the affidavit, forensic examination of Tinsley’s underwear found DNA from an unknown male. 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 note read, “I kill 8-year-old April M. Tinsley did you find her other shoe haha I will kill again.”
According to the F.B.I., such disturbing messages were left on bicycles that young girls left in their yards. "Hi Honey I Been watching you I am the same person that kinapped [sic] and Rape and kill April Tinsley," one of the messages said. "You are my next vitem [sic]."
In 2004, Tinsley’s murderer left four such disturbing notes at some residences in the Fort Wayne area. These notes were left inside bags along with used condoms or Polaroid pictures of the killer's body, the F.B.I. said.
After four years, the detectives took the samples for a genetic DNA testing. Parabon Nanolabs, a DNA company based in Virginia conducted these tests. The test results assisted the police to get closer to the suspects, Miller and his brother.
The police obtained Miller’s DNA as they collected several items from his trash, which included three used condoms, the affidavit said. 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.
Finally on July 15, 2018, detectives from Indiana State Police approached Miller in front of his home. When the police asked him if he had any idea why he was being asked questions, he reportedly responded “Ashley Tinsley.”
According to the affidavit, Miller not only admitted of abducting and murdering the girl, he further gave grave details about Tinsley death. He had choked Tinsley to death after raping her and after she died he had sex with the deceased body before discarding it.
Thumbnail/Banner Image: Allen County Sheriff's Department/Handout via Reuters