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Prosecutor in Fort Wayne girl’s 1988 killing hails genealogy databases

July 17, 2018

An Indiana prosecutor who’s preparing formal charges against a man in the 1988 abduction, rape and killing of an 8-year-old Fort Wayne girl says genealogy databases are powerful new tools for investigators.

Authorities arrested 59-year-old John D. Miller, Grabill, on Sunday on preliminary charges of murder, child molestation and criminal confinement in the killing of April Marie Tinsley. He’ll be formally charged Thursday.

Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards said in an affidavit that investigators consulted a company that was able to narrow DNA in the Tinsley case to Miller and his brother using publicly available genealogy database research. Miller’s brother isn’t accused of wrongdoing.

Richards declined to discuss details of the case Tuesday but said the use of such databases should worry criminals.

Tinsley’s body was found in a ditch three days after her abduction.

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