Mother of April Tinsley hopes suspect gets death penalty, official charges filed

John Miller

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — The mother of an 8-year-old Indiana girl who was raped and killed in 1988 wants prosecutors to seek the death penalty against the man accused of the crimes.

Prosecutors on Tuesday declined to discuss whether they’ll seek the death penalty for 59-year-old John Miller in the killing of April Tinsley. But the girl’s mother, Janet Tinsley, told the Journal Gazette that she wants to be present if Miller is put to death.

Indiana hasn’t executed anyone since 2009.

Miller was arrested Sunday on preliminary charges of murder, child molestation and criminal confinement in the killing of April. On Wednesday, the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office filed official charges of murder and child molestation against Miller.

He has an initial hearing Thursday morning at 8:30 on those charges.

Tinsley’s body was found in a ditch three days after her abduction. Authorities say Miller’s DNA matches DNA recovered from the child’s underwear.