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Man sentenced to 80 years for Fort Wayne girl’s 1988 rape, murder

John Miller

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — An Indiana man has been sentenced to 80 years in prison for the 1988 abduction, rape and killing of an 8-year-old girl.

An Allen County judge sentenced 59-year-old John D. Miller, of Grabill, on Friday. He had pleaded guilty on Dec. 7 to murder and child molestation charges in April Tinsley’s long-unsolved killing.

April Tinsley

Miller was arrested in July in April’s slaying. Investigators say DNA evidence and genealogy databases helped them link Miller to the Fort Wayne girl’s killing.

The girl was abducted in April 1988. Her body was found three days later in a ditch about 20 miles (32 kilometers) away. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled.

The Journal Gazette reports that April’s mother, Janet Tinsley, urged prosecutors to seek the death penalty against Miller.