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DNA leads police to murder suspect in cold 1988 Indiana case

By Ed Adamczyk
DNA leads police to murder suspect in cold 1988 Indiana case
John D. Miller was arrested Sunday for the 1988 abduction, rape and murder of 8-year-old April Tinsley, investigators said. Photo courtesy Allen County Sheriff's Office

July 16 (UPI) -- Indiana authorities have arrested a man they believe is responsible for a 30-year-old cold murder case, which included the sexual assault and death of an 8-year-old girl.

Suspect John D. Miller was taken into custody Sunday at his Grabill, Ind., home by Fort Wayne Police Department and Indiana State Police, court documents said.

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Prosecutors say DNA evidence connects him to the 1988 death of April Tinsley, a young girl found dead three days after her family reported her missing.

Court documents say when asked by police Sunday if he knew why they were at his home, Miller answered, "April Tinsley."

Miller was arrested on charges of suspicion of murder, child molesting and confinement. He is scheduled to appear in Allen County Court Monday.

Tinsley was abducted April 1, 1988, while walking in her Fort Wayne neighborhood. Three days later, a jogger found her body along a country road 20 miles away. Police said she'd been raped, but were not able to track down a suspect through DNA.

Police said the killer scrawled a message on a barn door two years later, threatening to kill again. In 2004, he again left threatening notes, nude photos and condoms on bicycles belonging to three girls.

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Authorities said DNA testing this year finally led them to Miller. Court documents say he admitted to the girl's death.

The arrest came the same day the Investigation Discovery Channel was scheduled to broadcast an episode of On the Case With Paula Zahn about the Tinsley case.

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