September 22, 2019
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Alaska State Troopers arrest Auburn man in connection with 1993 murder

Courtesy of Androscoggin County Jail
Courtesy of Androscoggin County Jail
Authorities in Alaska say they've arrested Steven H. Downs for the rape and murder of 20-year-old college student Sophie Sergie.

AUBURN, Maine — An arrest was made Friday in Maine for a cold case out of Alaska, with an Auburn man now accused of sexual assault and murder.

State police say the case goes back more than 20 years.

Alaska State Troopers say they worked with Maine State Police to arrest 44-year-old Steven Downs near the Auburn Fireside Inn on Friday.

Downs is charged with the 1993 sexual assault and murder of Sophie Sergie.

Sergie was 20 years old when she was found dead in a bathtub at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

Alaska State Troopers say Downs went to the university during that period of time, and lived in the dorm hall that Sergie’s body was found in.

Police say that they were able to gather evidence on Downs through a new type of genetic testing. They say they are just happy to help a family find some answers.

“Through their dogged persistence, advances in technology and the spirit of cooperation exhibited by each agency that touched this case, justice for Sophie is finally within reach,” Colonel Barry Wilson said.

CBS 13 spoke with Downs’ parents Friday night, they still live in Auburn and didn’t know their son had been arrested for rape and murder.

They say they are in shock and need time to process everything that’s happened.

In fact, they said they got a message from Alaska State Troopers earlier Friday and ignored it because they assumed in was a scam.

Alaska State Troopers say Downs will be extradited to Alaska at a later time.

 



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