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Friday, August 03, 2018 8:34 am

Trial date set in April Tinsley slaying

Matthew LeBlanc | The Journal Gazette

A trial date was set today for the man accused of killing April Tinsley.

John D. Miller, 59, allegedly sexually assaulted and strangled the 8-year-old Fort Wayne girl in 1988. Her body was found in a ditch in DeKalb County on April 4, 1988 – three days after she disappeared from her south-side neighborhood.

Allen Superior Judge John Surbeck scheduled a two-week trial to begin Feb. 11.

The criminal case is among the most notorious in the county's history and made national headlines. It went unsolved for three decades despite DNA evidence collected by investigators and the periodic appearance of notes purportedly from the killer, threatening to kill again.

Police arrested Miller July 15 at his home in Grabill, and he confessed to the crime, a probable cause affidavit alleges.

Investigators used a public genealogy database that allows users to compare DNA data to find Miller.

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