Police have arrested a man in the 1988 slaying of an 8-year-old in girl. Making matters worse, the alleged murderer taunted the community: Two years later, a cruel message was found scrawled onto the side of a nearby barn.
Her murder became the Midwestern state's most notorious cold case. A judge gave prosecutors until Thursday to formally charge him.
Miller is being held without bond and it wasn't clear if he has a lawyer who could speak on his behalf.
Tinsley's mother reported her missing from her family home on April 1, 1988.
The 8-year-old girl disappeared on April 1, 1988 in Fort Wayne as she was walking home from visiting a friend.
April Marie Tinsley, 8, was abducted, raped and murdered in Fort Wayne on Good Friday in 1988.
"Hi, honey, I been watching you", said a letter published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Police in IN believe they have finally caught a suspect whose sickening crime has haunted investigators for more than 30 years. "I am the same person that kidnapped, raped and killed April Tinsely".
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According to the affidavit, Miller's DNA was matched to DNA recovered from Tinsley's underwear in 1988, CBS affiliate WANE reports.
It took April Tinsley 10 minutes to die, he told investigators. In one of those incidents, the condoms were left with a note threatening some little girls, saying he was the one who killed Tinsley, and that one of the girls would be next. Three days later her body was discovered around 20 miles away. "D$3 id you find the other shoe haha I will kill again". Miller then allegedly confessed kidnapping Tinsley and bringing her to his home where he raped, strangled and killed the girl. Using a private laboratory that specializes in "snapshot DNA phenotyping", investigators narrowed the pool of potential matches.
DNA evidence and records on publicly accessible genealogical websites helped investigators track down the suspect, the Fort Wayne police department said in a court filing on Sunday, following a pattern similar to that used to track down the so-called Golden State Killer in California earlier this year.
Investigators developed a DNA profile from the condoms, and "it was determined to be consistent with the profile developed from the underwear of April M. Tinsley".
He faces felony murder, child molestation and criminal confinement charges.
On Sunday, detectives arrested Miller after DNA from his garbage matched evidence from the crime scene and the sick messages.
Last April, to mark the 30th anniversary of April's murder, Janet Tinsley made a decision to hold a balloon release in a small neighborhood park dedicated to April near her home.
The affidavit says that when confronted by detectives on 15 July, the accused said he abducted April, took her to his trailer and sexually assaulted her. Then, he admitted to dumping her body, police say. According to an affidavit, when police went to his trailer Sunday and asked if he knew why they were there, he said: "April Tinsley".