The man accused of killing 8-year-old April Tinsley pleaded guilty to her murder Friday.
John Miller, 59, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, was arrested in July in the 1988 cold case. April vanished April 1 of that year and a jogger discovered her body three days later in a water-filled ditch in a rural field. The blond-haired little girl had been sexually assaulted and asphyxiated, officials said.
The case was cold for years, but Miller was identified as a suspect after the Fort Wayne Police Department submitted DNA found on April to Parabon NanoLabs, which specializes in part in forensic DNA analysis.
When detectives approached Miller earlier this year and asked if he knew why investigators wanted to speak with him, he replied, "April Tinsley," according to a police affidavit.
Miller will be sentenced to 80 years in prison as part of a plea deal. Formal sentencing is slated for Dec. 31.