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  • Courtesy FBI: Back row, from left: Detective Sean Kelly and Officer Darren Compton of the Allen County Sheriff's Department; and Detective Brian Martin of the Fort Wayne Police Department. Middle: Officer Tim Loe of the sheriff's department and Detective Kevin Smith of the Indiana State Police. Front row: Supervisory Special Agent Kerri L. Reifel and Special Agent Jeffrey Robertson of the FBI; and Detective Clint Hetrick of the state police. Fort Wayne Police Detective Cary Young also was honored but is not pictured.

Monday, May 13, 2019 2:32 pm

Law enforcement workers honored for roles in solving April Tinsley slaying

Matthew LeBlanc | The Journal Gazette

A national police organization honored area law enforcement personnel for work to solve the murder of April Tinsley.

The National Association of Police Organizations each year honors Top Cops -- "officers in federal, state, county, tribal and local agencies from across the country for actions above and beyond the call of duty."

Members of the Fort Wayne Police Department, the Allen County Sheriff's Department, the Indiana State Police and the FBI were honored in a ceremony Sunday in Washinngton, D.C.

The group received honorable mention for its work "in identifying and arresting John D. Miller for murdering April," FBI spokeswoman Chris Bavender said in an email.

Fort Wayne police Detectives Brian Martin and Cary Young; Corporal Sean Kelly, Detective Darren Compton and Officer Timothy Loe of the sheriff's department; Capt. Kevin Smith and Detective Clint Hetrick of the state police; and Special Agent Jeffrey Robertson and Supervisory Special Agent Kerri Reifel were recognized at the ceremony.

April, 8, was killed in 1988 after she was taken from her neighborhood on Fort Wayne's south side. The case went unsolved until July 2018, when Miller was arrested at his home in Grabill after police used DNA and a genealogy database to link him to the crime.

Miller, 59, pleaded guilty to murder and child molesting and was sentenced to 80 years in prison.

mleblanc@jg.net