The Journal Gazette
Monday, July 16, 2018 1:00 am

Tinsley case timeline

April 1, 1988: Eight-year-old April Marie Tinsley is reported missing from her Williams Street home in south-central Fort Wayne.

April 4, 1988: April's body is found in a ditch on County Road 68 in DeKalb County near Spencerville. She died from asphyxiation, and she had been sexually assaulted.

May 21, 1990: Police learn of writing on a barn at Schwartz Road and Indiana 37 in Allen County. The misspelled message on the side of the barn said, “I kill 8 year old April Marie Tisley.” The note also said “did you find her other shoe,” “ha ha,” and “I will kill again.”

2004: Police are called to Benham Drive in Fort Wayne and Witmer and Roth roads and Indiana Street in Grabill. Used condoms are found at each of the three locations. Notes are also found stating that the person who left the condoms raped and killed April Tinsley. A DNA profile from the condoms is determined to be consistent with the profile of DNA from April's underwear.

2009, 2012: April Tinsley's case is featured on “America's  Most Wanted.”

July 2: Police begin surveillance on John D. Miller's mobile home at 13722 Main St., Lot 4, in Grabill.

July 6: Police obtain trash from Miller's mobile home and find three used condoms.

July 9: Authorities learn that the DNA profile from the used condoms recovered from the trash at John Miller's home is consistent with the DNA profile obtained from condoms recovered in 2004.

Sunday: John D. Miller is arrested after telling police he killed April Tinsley and dumped her body near DeKalb County Road 68 near Spencerville.

Share this article

Email story

Subscribe to our newsletters

* indicates required