February trial set for Indiana man charged in 1988 slaying

A judge has set a Feb. 11 trial date for an Indiana man charged in the 1988 abduction, rape and killing of an 8-year-old girl.

John D. Miller, of Grabill, is charged with murder and child molestation in the killing of April Tinsley.

The 59-year-old Miller appeared to tremble during Friday’s hearing. He was shackled and dressed in jail clothes.

Public defender Anthony Churchward said afterward that he hadn’t assessed Miller’s fitness to stand trial.

Investigators allege that Miller confessed July 15 to abducting, sexually assaulting and strangling the Fort Wayne girl in April 1988. Her body was found three days later in a ditch about 20 miles away. He’s being held without bond.

Investigators say DNA evidence and genealogy databases helped link Miller to April’s killing.

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