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The Journal Gazette

Monday, July 16, 2018 3:04 pm

Initial Tinsley investigation: Short suspect list, little hard evidence

Matthew LeBlanc | The Journal Gazette

After an 8-year-old girl was abducted and killed in 1988, Fort Wayne police quickly developed "a short list" of suspects, the city's former police chief said Monday.

But there was little hard evidence to move forward against any of them in the abduction and murder of April Tinsley, T. Neil Moore said.

"The frustrating part (of the investigation) is to know you've got a short list and know your guy is probably on that list," Moore told The Journal Gazette on Monday. He was the city's police chief from 1988 to 1997.

John D. Miller, 59, was arrested Sunday and is charged with April's murder. He appeared in Allen Superior Court on Monday for an initial hearing.

April left her family's home on West Williams Street on April 1, 1988, to visit a friend and never returned. Her body was found in a DeKalb County ditch three days later.

The case had baffled investigators for 30 years, until police recently were able to use DNA evidence and genealogical data to tie Miller to the crime, according to court documents.

For more on this story, see Tuesday's print edition of The Journal Gazette or visit www.journalgazette.net after 1 a.m. Tuesday.

mleblanc@jg.net