A jury in Alaska found a man guilty on Thursday of the rape and murder of a woman at a university dormitory that went unsolved for more than two decades until a DNA match for the assailant was found using genetic genealogy tracing.
The killing of 20-year-old Sophie Sergie at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1993 flummoxed investigators for years. Using the DNA evidence they linked Steven Downs of Auburn, Maine, to the crime and he was arrested in 2019.
Jury members in Fairbanks deliberated two days before they found Downs guilty of murder and rape, the Anchorage Daily News reported. Downs, now 47, was a freshman at the university in 1993 and a resident of the dorm where Sergie was found dead.