New trial helps 44-year-old nurse kill in Alaska, brutal murder 25 years ago, authorities say



A relatively new type of genetic testing was awarded on Friday to help Alaska authorities solve a case in which a 20-year-old woman was found brutally murdered in the bathroom. a university dormitory more than 25 years ago.

On Friday, a 44-year-old man who was working as a nurse across the country in Auburn, Maine, was arrested in connection with the 1993 murder of Sophie Sergie, accused of being sexually assaulted, stabbed and stabbed to death. many times. in his head, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Steven Downs, 44, of Auburn, Maine, was charged with murdering a woman 25 years ago in Alaska, authorities said. (Androscoggin County Jail)

Steven Downs, 44, of Auburn, Maine, was charged with murdering a woman 25 years ago in Alaska, authorities said. (Androscoggin County Jail)

The suspect, identified as Steven Downs, was 18 at the time of the assassination. He is charged with sexual assault and murder as a result of Sergie's death and should be extradited to Alaska. No motive was given for the murder and it was unclear whether Downs and Sergie knew each other before his death.

"For more than 20 years, AST has continued to receive information about Sophie's murder," said Colonel Barry Wilson, director of Alaska State Troopers. "Each trick generated a response from the members of the cold case unit in the hope of solving the case."

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Sergie was found dead on April 26, 1993 in the dormitory campus of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. She had visited friends in town for an appointment, reported KTUU-TV from Anchorage.

Downs was a student who lived in the dormitory, the authorities said. In 2018, investigators submitted DNA from the crime scene to a Virginia-based lab to develop a probable suspect using genetic genealogy.

The new technique uses DNA to determine relationships between people. The method was used to capture the Golden State killer in California, Joseph James DeAngelo, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

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The tests led the police to Downs.

"Thanks to their stubborn persistence, their technological advances and their spirit of cooperation manifested by other agencies that have dealt with this matter," said Minister Wilson, "justice for Sophie is finally at hand ".


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