April Tinsley Kidnapping And Murder Still Baffles Police

The murder of April Tinsely is back in the news and police are still looking for clues as to what happened to her. Hopefully, a new composite sketch of the killer will provide them with the answers. According to WTHR-13, Parabon NanoLabs is using DNA collected from the crime scene to make a new composite. April Tinsley is the 8-year-old girl who was found dead in Fort Wayne, Indiana in the late 1980’s. Since that time, law enforcement officials have very few leads in the case. The murder of April Tinsley was profiled on John Walsh’s hit show America’s Most Wanted.

April Tinsley was found dead in 1988, just three days after she was reported missing. Police became aware of the case when the victim’s mother contacted police after she failed to return home from a friend’s house. According to a witness, April Tinsley was last seen being pulled into a vehicle by a man. Investigators still have not identified the man despite the original police sketch. Over the years, law enforcement officials have released more details. They believe that the person who committed the crime knows the area well and is a white man who is now in his 40’s or 50’s. With the release of the new sketch, Fort Wayne police officials are expecting someone to come forward with the killer’s identity, Deputy Chief Paul Shrawder.

“When we became aware of Parabon NanoLabs and learned how the Snapshot DNA Phenotyping Service could assist us in providing investigators with another visual clue in the April Tinsley investigation, it made sense to utilize their expertise.”

Here is a brief timeline in the rape and murder of April Tinsley.

On April 1, 1988, April Tinsley leaves her home in the 300 block of West Williams Street in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The first grader then heads to pick up her umbrella from a friend’s home located in the 2300 block of Hoagland Avenue. A person then reports seeing a young girl fitting April Tinsley’s description being pulled into a truck by a man—possibly in his 30’s. Hour later, April Tinsley fails to show up at home and the police is called.

Three days later on April 4, 1988, a jogger comes across a dead body. The body is identified as missing child April Tinsley. An autopsy report concludes that the girl was suffocated an raped. The body was clothed with the same clothing that April Tinsley was last seen wearing. In 1990, a person admitting to the murder of April Tinsley scrawls the words “I will kill again” on a barn located on 5907 Schwartz Road. By 2004, various notes are found in several areas of Allen county. The confession notes are left in Ziploc bags. There have been no real developments in the case since 2004. Police are asking anyone with information to contact the Fort Wayne Police Department at 260-427-1222.

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