FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Today (Friday) Alaska State Troopers arrested 44 year old Steven H. Downs, of Auburn Maine, who has been charged with the sexual assault and murder of Sophie Sergie.
On April 24, 1993, Sergie was staying with a friend on the UAF campus in Bartlett Hall.
After leaving the dorm room for a cigarette break, she was found dead in a bathtub in the dormitory.
Sergie was scheduled to return home to Pitkas Point on April 26.
Initial investigation has determined that Sergie was sexually assaulted and murdered.
After using similar investigative methods that lead to the arrest of the 'Golden State Serial Killer', the Cold Case Unit sent an unknown DNA sample from the Sergie case to a Virginia– based genetic genealogy testing lab that ultimately provided a lead.
After more investigation, it was determined that Steven H. Downs was the most likely suspect. "Through their dogged persistence, advances in technology, and the spirit of cooperation exhibited by other agencies that touch this case, justice for Sophie is finally in reach. As time passed, several members in the C–C–Units from each departments would pour through reports to determine very carefully if new leads were available to investigate, or if there were some other angle or new technology to work the case. For more than 20 years AST continued to receive information about Sophie's murder,” Director of the Alaska State Troopers, Barry Wilson said.
Downs was 18, and lived in Bartlett Hall at the time of the murder.
CCU and Maine authorities made the arrest, and Downs will be extradited to Alaska to face charges. We will have more on this story as information becomes available.