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20th Anniversary of April Tinsley Case

Fort Wayne, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) — One of Fort Wayne’s most notorious cold cases is still being investigated.

Tuesday marks the 20th anniversary of the molestation and murder of little April Tinsley. Here in Fort Wayne, the case is as ingrained in people’s memories as where they were when Presidents Kennedy or Reagan were shot.

And now, 20 years later, Fort Wayne police are again asking for your help. Eight-year old April Tinsley disappeared on April first, 1988 from the 2300 block of Hoagland Avenue. It was Good Friday.

A jogger found the sexually assaulted and suffocated body of the Fairfield Elementary School first grader dumped in a southern Dekalb County ditch a few days later.

In the summer of 2006, police revealed that notes taunting potential victims had been found around the area, and a hotline yielded hundreds of tips. In October of that year, a convicted sex offender was questioned extensively about the case, but was released after his DNA didn’t match what was found at the scene.

The case has frustrated everyone involved.

Deputy Chief Karl Niblick\Fort Wayne Police Department: ” It’s a case that touched everyone’s heart at the time, we haven’t forgotten. It’s been 20 years and there’s still a lot that we’re doing. It’s just, we’re hoping that someone out there can help us. That we’re missing something, somewhere, that someone knows about, that can give us that clue that helps us break this case.”

Niblick says if you know anything about the April Tinsley case, you can call the detective bureau, call Crimestoppers, or even flag down an officer in the street. Any little bit of information to help detectives crack this now 20-year old case.

April Tinsley’s family has since moved out of state. But in an email, her father tells Indiana’s NewsCenter he’s extremely frustrated with the lack of progress in her case.

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