Three decades later, police say they know who killed 8-year-old IN girl April Tinsley.
John Miller, from the town of Grabill, Indiana, spoke with Fort Wayne Police Department and Indiana State Police on Sunday and is alleged to have made incriminating statements and admissions regarding the abduction, assault, and eventual murder of the young girl. According to a probable cause affidavit filed in Allen County Superior Court, Miller confessed when questioned about Tinsley's death. Investigators then examined Miller's trash and found three used condoms that matched the DNA evidence from the suspected killer.
Two years after the murder, police found a note on a barn close to where her body was found in DeKalb County. They have until Thursday to formally charge him with Tinsley's rape and murder.
Miller, 59, was arrested Sunday at his trailer home on Main Street in Grabill.
Tinsley's mother reported her missing from her family home on April 1, 1988.
One chilling note released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation reads: 'Hi honey.
On July 2, the lab was able to narrow the DNA sample to two brothers, one being Miller.
One read: "I kill 8 year old April Marie Tisley I will kill agin". Court documents say he admitted to the girl's death.
In 2004, the suspect sent notes to other young girls in the region, some with used condoms and nude photographs. Investigators found her body three days later, about 20 miles (32 km) away. "I will kill again" (sic).More news: Almost 7000 residents evacuated in Syria
"Hi Honey I been watching you I am the same person that kinapped an rape an kill Aproil Tinsley you are my next vitem [sic]", read one note, posted online by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
According to the affidavit, forensic examination of Tinsley's underwear found DNA from an unknown male.
Similar to how investigators followed-up on a possible DNA match for a suspect in the Golden State Killer investigation, detectives conducted surveillance on Miller, and collected further evidence from his trash, including used condoms.
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".
In 2004, Tinsley's murderer left four such disturbing notes at some residences in the Fort Wayne area.
Police began watching Miller, according to court documents. When detectives asked him if he had any idea why there were there, Miller reportedly responded, "April Tinsley", the affidavit said.
Miller was taken to the Allen County Jail in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he is being held on preliminary charges of murder, child molesting and confinement.
Tinsley, April's aunt, said the girl's parents - Michael and Janet Tinsley - are struggling with news of the arrest and details of the crime. He then told police that he drove April's body to Spencerville the next morning and dumped her in a ditch.
He said he choked her, and that it took ten minutes for April to die.