April Tinsley

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In 1988, 8 year old April Tinsley was abducted, raped, and murdered. Her killer would continue to taunt the community by stalking children, leaving plastic baggies containing his used condoms attached to their bicycles.

Age: 8

Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana

Date: April 1, 1988

On April 1, 1988, in Fort Wayne, Indiana, 8 year old April Tinsley came home from school and asked her mother if she could go over to a friend's house. Saying yes, her daughter, a sweet, blonde, lovable child who had several neighborhood friends took a piece of Easter candy in hand and headed out the door.

April was abducted that Friday afternoon as she walked to a friend's house to retrieve her umbrella through her south-central Fort Wayne neighborhood. Her disappearance prompted an immediate, massive search consisting of several authorities and neighborhood residents. A local witness reported seeing a Caucasian male in his mid 30s pull April into a blue pickup, but this description led to no such findings.

April's body was recovered three days later at the bottom of a ditch along rural Dekalb County road. A dildo was also found at the location. Although April was fully clothed, the autopsy revealed that she had been raped and suffocated. April had been dead for 24-48 hours. Despite having her killer's DNA and a witness description, the case went cold and no arrests were ever made.

Later developments occurred in May 19900, when a teenage boy saw an adult male scrawl the message, which had been written in pencil or crayon, "I kill April Marie Tinsley. I will kill again Ha Ha" on a barn near the intersection of St. Joe Center and Schwartz Roads. In 2004, 14 years later, a series of handwritten notes were left on mailboxes and on children's bicycles threatening future abductions and murders. The notes contained similar grammatical errors and misspellings similar to what was written on the barn. Investigators determined that the note on the barn was indeed written by the killer.

Of the four messages found at residences local to and near Fort Wayne, three were left attached to bicycles that belonged to young girls and one was left in a mailbox. The plastic baggie contained these letters, each of which had been written on yellow lined paper. Some baggies included nude Polaroid photos of the suspect's lower half of his body, while one or more contained a used condom. The semen sample was tested for DNA and matched the profile obtained from April's body.

One note, placed in the basket of a girl's bicycle, read: "Hi Honey I been watching you I am the same person that kidnapped an rape an kill April Tinsley you are my next viteam if you don't report this to police and I don't see this in the paper I will blow up your house."

The killer since has remained silent. In 2016, recent technology was able to construct a profile of what the killer may look like based on his DNA profile. He is a Caucasian male, has brown or hazel eyes, and dark hair. He would currently be in his 50s.

 He would currently be in his 50s

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