Arrest Made in 1988 Slaying of Indiana Girl After DNA Match

DNA evidence lead police to 59-year-old John Miller

What to Know

  • John Miller, 59, is accused of killing 8-year-old April Tinsley in 1988
  • Investigators used a genealogy database to narrow down the suspect to Miller and his brother
  • A recent search of Miller's trash helped police make a DNA match

Police have arrested a man in the 1988 slaying of an 8-year-old Indiana girl.

Authorities say John D. Miller, 59, of Grabill agreed to speak with police Sunday in Fort Wayne and made incriminating statements about abducting, assaulting and killing April Tinsley.

According to an affidavit released by the Allen County prosecutor, investigators have DNA evidence linking Miller to the girl. Using a genealogy database to match the DNA evidence taken from the crime scene, investigators narrowed down the suspect to two people: Miller or his brother, NBC affiliate WPTA reported

A recent search of Miller's trash helped police make a DNA match. 

At a court hearing Monday, an Allen County judge gave prosecutors 72 hours to formally charge Miller in the killing. He is being held without bond. It wasn't immediately known if Miller has a lawyer who could comment on the arrest.

April's body was found in a ditch, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) from her Fort Wayne neighborhood, three days after she disappeared in April 1988.

The use of a genealogy website was also used by investigators in California to to track down the Golden State Killer. The controversial method has sparked privacy concerns involving law enforcement and companies whose millions of users submit their DNA to discover their heritage.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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