Steven Downs, of Auburn, convicted in 1993 killing of woman in Alaska

Steven Downs/Sophie Sergie
Steven Downs/Sophie Sergie(Julie Swisher)
Published: Feb. 10, 2022 at 8:38 PM EST
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(WMTW) - A Maine man has been convicted in the 1993 killing of a 20-year-old woman at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

A jury found Steven Downs, 47, of Auburn, guilty of murder and sexual assault in the death of Sophie Sergie.

Sergie had been visiting friends at UAF, when she was found dead and half-undressed in a women’s bathroom of Down’s co-ed dorm, Bartlett Hall, on April 26, 1993.

Downs was 18 and a freshman at the school when Sergie was killed.

Jurors deliberated for roughly two and a half days before reaching their verdict after a three-week trial.

A break in the case occurred in 2018 when genetic genealogist CeCe Moore, of Virginia-based Parabon Nanolabs, connected crime scene DNA to the profile of Downs’ aunt who lived in Vermont.

That lead took Alaska detectives to Downs, who voluntarily submitted his own DNA sample before his arrest in February 2019.

Downs did not testify in his own defense, but his lawyer challenged the veracity of the DNA evidence and its chain of custody over the years.

Downs was ordered held without bail pending sentencing in September.

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