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One-on-one with Janet Tinsley reacting to Miller’s sentencing

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) – Emotions ran high inside the packed courtroom today.

Nobody waiting for this moment more than the mother who got to address her daughter’s killer face to face.

What do you say to the man who killed your 8-year-old daughter?

Janet Tinsley read the letter she addressed to Miller in court, exclusively to ABC21 reporter Kaitlyn Kendall.

“It’s been 30 years, but I still remember the day like it was yesterday. That was the day you ripped our family apart. I still don’t understand why you did this to us,” Janet Tinsley continued, “Why did you pick her? Why our sweet shy and bashful 8-year-old child?”

For Janet, she’s had 30 years to think about what she would say to the man who killed her daughter.

“As years went on there were times we didn’t hear anything. We thought the case was never going to be solved. At times we lost hope,” said Janet.

Even when hope faded, family remained faithful that they would someday get justice for their little girl.

Janet added, “Still dreaming it’s like we’re still in a nightmare. It still hasn’t really come to reality yet, It’s coming to an end.”

Event though the Fort Wayne cold case is solved, family members like April’s cousin, Shannon Whelchel said she will forever remember what it was like the day April was ripped from their arms.

“There were just his monster that came, they took April, and did horrible unspeakable acts to her. They left her like a piece of trash,” said Shannon.

“I kept thinking she has to be out there somewhere, somebody’s got her, just bring her home. 4 days later, they come and tell me,” Janet added, “Parents aren’t supposed to bury their child the child is supposed to bury the parent.”

Somehow, Janet found the strength, through all the pain and heartache to face the man she called a monster.

Janet added, “As you see you took her life, we want yours. But unfortunately we don’t get that. You are getting 80 years but that will never come close to what April’s life meant to all of us.”

John D. Miller’s defense attorney read his statement of apology in court, something April’s family said only caused more anger.

Janet ended her letter to Miller by saying, “You kidnapped her, you sexually assaulted her, and threw her little body out like it was trash.I will never forgive and I will never forget what you took from us, I will remember this forever until the day I die.

Full interview with Janet:

Kaitlyn Kendall

Kaitlyn Kendall anchors ABC21 news at 5 and is the chief investigative reporter for the stations Digging Deeper team.

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