FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) - An
Indiana prosecutor is crediting genealogy databases with helping identify a
suspect in the 1988 abduction, rape and killing of an 8-year-old girl,
saying criminals should be worried about these powerful new crime-fighting
John D. Miller, 59, was
arrested Sunday on preliminary charges of murder, child molestation and
criminal confinement in the killing of April Marie Tinsley. He’s due to be
formally charged Thursday.
genealogy databases in the search for Tinsley’s killer, according to an
affidavit filed Sunday. California investigators used the same approach to
arrest Joseph DeAngelo in April for dozens of rapes and 12 killings in the
1970s and 80s.
Allen County Prosecutor
Karen Richards said in the affidavit that investigators consulted with
Parabon Nanolabs, a Virginia-based DNA phenotyping company that assists law
enforcement organizations, and it narrowed DNA in the Tinsley case to two
surviving brothers, including Miller. Miller’s brother isn’t accused of
A genetic genealogist used
publicly available genealogy database research in the company’ work, the
Richards declined to
discuss details of the case during a Tuesday news conference, but she said
DNA evidence coupled with publicly available genealogical data should worry
“This case should
tell them something,” she said.
Tinsley disappeared after
leaving her Fort Wayne home on April 1, 1988. She was found dead three days
later in a ditch about 20 miles (32 kilometers) away.
Investigators said in the
affidavit that Miller’s DNA matches DNA found on Tinsley’s underwear and on
used condoms taken from trash at his home on July 9.
Miller’s DNA also matched
DNA taken from three used condoms that were found in 2004 at locations in
Fort Wayne and the adjacent town of Grabill along with messages the killer
apparently left 16 years after the crime, the affidavit states.
Miller, who’s from Grabill,
is being held without bond. Richards said Tuesday that Miller didn’t yet
have an attorney.