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Who Killed April Marie Tinsley?

Updated on March 6, 2017
April Marie Tinsley
April Marie Tinsley

April 1st, 1988 was a typical afternoon in Fort Wayne, IN. April was abducted in broad daylight by a man and she was never heard from again, alive that is. The story goes that little April Tinsley was walking from a friends house to another friends house where she had left her umbrella, (other stories stat she was leaving a friends house and going home, not sure which is the true one or not.) Regardless whichever story is the real one, little April was abducted and murdered by a mad man who needs to be caught.

Around 3-4 pm on that afternoon, little April Marie Tinsley said she was going to get her umbrella that she had left at another friends house down the street. That is when a witness stated that they saw a white man in his mid-30's, driving a light blue pickup, forcefully pull April Tinsley into his truck and drove away. Neither the man nor the truck have been located to this day.

Three days after her abduction, little April Marie Tinsley's body was found in a ditch, near Spencerville, IN. She had been raped and suffocated. Tips immediately started coming in, but they led to dead ends and the case eventually went cold. For two long years, there was nothing in the way of new evidence or even a breakthrough in the case, but in May of 1990, some new and disturbing evidence had come in.

A teenage boy had either seen the man write it or just saw the message, those two facts are both not clear to me as well. Anyway, this young man saw a disturbing message on a barn door and reported to police. They have linked DNA from a crayon they found near by with the DNA that was found on April Marie Tinsley, so they know the killer did write this message.

This is what the barn door says: "I Kill 8 yea old ApriL marie tisley I Will kill again."

As you can by the photo, you can see where the killer had rewritten this multiple times, I have heard that he first did it in pencil, came back did it in crayon, and than came back a third and final time and did it in black marker, but if he came back three different times, how didn't anyone see him?

Three weeks after the barn door message, another Fort Wayne area girl went missing, her name is Sarah Bowker, a 7 year old angel, from her area apartment complex. Her body was found the next day in a nearby ditch, she was also raped and suffocated. The FBI declared that the two cases are not from the same killer, but the local coroner had a different opinion on it. He had looked after both bodies and he reported saying that he believes the two cases are linked and killed by the same person.

Fourteen years had passed and nothing had come up from the killer or any breakthroughs in the case. Everyone thought that he killer had just stopped, but his reign of terror was not over yet.

March 25, 2004, a 5 year old girl had noticed a ziplock bag in her bicycle basket, what was inside the baggie was a note and this is what is read," Hi Honey I Been watching I am the same person that kidnapped an Rape an kill Aproil tinsely you are my next vitcom if you dont report this to police an I dont see this in the paper tommrow or on the Local news or i well BLow ur yoy." This is what I make the note out to be, see for yourself with the picture below.

The killer had sent out several other notes to young girls with the same type of note and used condom in the baggie. One of them being a 7 year old girls bike, that was right on the families front lawn, but not a single soul saw anything at all. The very last note that the killer would send to potential victims was the most vulgar of them all. He would still write the same type of message on every letter, but instead of him putting a used condom inside the baggie, he actually took a Polaroid photo of himself naked from the waist down and put in the baggie for the little girl. That was the last night that he wrote, or that was brought to the media. That was the last time that anyone had heard anything from this man as well.

bedspread the killer used to take vulgar picture
bedspread the killer used to take vulgar picture

This bedspread is what the suspect had taken the pictures on. If or anyone you know has seen this bedspread any tips about this case at all, don't hesitate to call. This man is very familiar with the Fort Wayne area of Indiana and even more familiar with the smaller cities and towns near Fort Wayne. He could have a writing disability, or not properly schooled.

Forensic testing has stated that the killer was the one that sent the notes, but no strong leads have been made to whom the suspect could possible be.

We need help bringing this man to justice. This case has been on "America's Most Wanted," twice and also Crime Watch Daily has done a special on this case, but nothing is coming up at all. Next month will be 29 years since April Marie Tinsley and Sarah Bowker were taken from this world way too soon. They need justice, along with every other woman, child and man that has not had justice done!

If you have any tips whatsoever about this case or even think you know the person that did this, do not hesitate to call the Indiana State Police, their contact info is below. Thank you for reading and let's get justice.

Indiana State Police
District Investigative Commander
5811 Ellison Road
Fort Wayne, IN 46804
1-260-432-8661 or 1-800-552-0976


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    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 10 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Aaron.....There are several writers here at HP who are also True Crime Fans. I am a huge fan myself. We do have a few writers whose niche is this precise topic. I'm sure that eventually you will come across them and get to enjoy their Hubs.

      I see you are new here. It's interesting to read what you have printed in your bio and I would surely wish you much luck. I'd like to give you a few helpful suggestions.

      Before getting into writing more hubs, it's very important you do some extensive editing on this particular piece of work. It's a good idea to ask the assistance of someone you know and can trust, who is also highly literate, to sit in with you as you go into edit mode and repair the large number of spelling and grammatical errors within your hub. There are an inordinate amount of obvious errors and this definitely counts against you and your work.

      I'm sure if you take the time and effort to do this, you'll find it to be of benefit to your future success here at HP. Good luck. Peace, Paula