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Formal Charges Filed In Tinsley Killing


Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards filed formal charges Wednesday afternoon against a Grabill man accused in the 1988 killing of 8-year-old April Tinsley.


John D. Miller, 59, was arrested over the weekend on preliminary charges and has remained in the Allen County Jail. The charges filed late Wednesday accuse him of murder and child molesting.


He is accused of abducting Tinsley from a south side Fort Wayne street on Good Friday 1988, killing her and dumping her body in rural DeKalb County.

Credit Allen County Sheriff's Department

Detectives from the Fort Wayne Police and Indiana State Police tied Miller to the case via DNA left at the scene, other objects containing his DNA left for investigators over the decades since the killing, and familial DNA from a public database.

To confirm his identity, detectives obtained additional DNA from a search of Miller’s trash earlier this month, according to court documents.

For just over 30 years, the case tormented investigators in spite of many efforts to drum up new information to lead to its solution.


Miller is scheduled to appear in Allen Superior Court Thursday for an initial hearing.

Rebecca manages the news at WBOI. She joined the staff in December 2017, and brought with her nearly two decades of experience in print journalism, including 15 years as an award-winning reporter for the Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne.
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