When Indiana authorities showed up outside his home Sunday morning to talk to him, John Miller allegedly uttered two words: “April Tinsley” — the name of the 8-year-old girl police believe he abducted, sexually assaulting and strangled to death in 1988.
Court records obtained by PEOPLE allege the 59-year-old Miller, of Grabill, taunted investigators, leaving behind notes, pictures and used condoms for police, defying authorities to capture him.
A probable cause affidavit alleges Miller admitted to the killing soon after his rights were read.
According to the affidavit, Miller told police he abducted the young girl on April 1, 1988, as she was walking to a friend’s house. He brought her to his trailer where he allegedly raped her before strangling her to death. Miller allegedly told detectives it took 10 minutes for April to die, the document states.
Miller allegedly said he kept the body for a day before dumping it in a ditch in Spencerville, according to the affidavit. April was found by a jogger three days after she was first reported missing.
Several police agencies were involved in the investigation and arrest, including the Indiana State police, the Fort Wayne police and the FBI.
According to the affidavit, detectives got their first official lead in 1990, when Miller allegedly scrawled his admission on the side of a barn: “I kill 8-year-old April Marie Tinsley. I will kill again.”
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The case went cold again until 2004, when police found a series of handwritten notes, Polaroid photographs and used condoms at three different locations in Fort Wayne and Grabill. The notes also implied the killer would murder again.
DNA from the condoms was tested and matched evidence recovered from April’s underwear, so a genetic profile of the killer was developed. Then, the affidavit states, the used condoms were again sent to the lab for testing in May. Experts compared their finds to genealogy databases, narrowing the DNA sample to two brothers — including Miller.
The charging documents say authorities performed surveillance of Miller’s residence and that three condoms were recovered from his trash. The lab verified the condoms in Miller’s trash matched those found at the three locations in 2004.
Miller does not have a lawyer. He is due in court later Monday, where he could be asked to enter pleas to the murder, child molesting and criminal confinement charges he faces.