FORT WAYNE, Ind. — A northeast Indiana woman still hopes that her daughter’s murder will be solved after 30 years.

April Tinsley’s body was found in a DeKalb County ditch on Easter weekend in 1988. An autopsy revealed the 8-year-old was sexually assaulted and suffocated.

Her mother, Janet Tinsley, still hopes for answers. She will celebrate that hope with a balloon release Wednesday at April’s Garden, a Fort Wayne memorial park created by the community in 2015, the Journal Gazette reported .

Such events are held periodically to renew public awareness about the cold case.

“I never thought it would go this long,” Tinsley said.

Fort Wayne Police, Allen County sheriff’s deputies, Indiana State Police and federal investigators are still collecting information on the case.

“There’s times you have your ups and downs,” Tinsley said. “For a while you’ll think, ‘Are they doing anything? Do they got any more leads?'”

Investigators receive an average of five to seven tips about the case weekly, said Cary Young, a Fort Wayne homicide detective with the department’s Cold Case Unit.

“There’s 700 or so names on our suspect list,” he said. “It’s still at the forefront of our minds. We’re still actively working on it.”

Investigators are still analyzing DNA samples for clues, Young said.

The decades-long investigation has taken a toll on the Tinsleys. The family left Fort Wayne in 1991 to get away from the constant attention.

“We couldn’t go outside, go to the store — anything — without TV cameras, camping outside our door, being followed,” Tinsley said.

The family eventually moved back to Fort Wayne about five years ago.


Information from: The Journal Gazette, http://www.journalgazette.net

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