Finally, A Trial. Sophie Sergie Was Killed In A Fairbanks Dorm in 1993

"Cold Case" Forensics & DNA Test Led To A Former Student As A Suspect, Now Living In Maine  UAF Campus (Photo, UAF website)  S...

"Cold Case" Forensics & DNA Test Led To A Former Student As A Suspect, Now Living In Maine 

UAF Campus (Photo, UAF website) 

Sexual Assault, Murder & Violence Against Women (Especially Native Women) Is A Longstanding, Unresolved Issue In Alaska 

Sophie Sergie, a 20-year old former UAF student at Fairbanks who was raped, stabbed and shot in a UAF dormitory in 1993, became – in many ways – the symbol of Alaskan violence against women. 

She was one of over 200 Alaska Native women who have been known killed in similar acts of violence.  

Her death was a well-publicized tragedy – and a real concern among UAF students, who realized they might have a rapist and killer in their midst. It was obvious that a killer had ready access to the most vulnerable buildings of the sprawling campus. 

The young woman was found dead in a dorm bathroom, and in the past decades nobody has been charged in her murder. 

Now, with the use of DNA, a 44-year old male nurse, living in the town of Auburn, Maine, has been tracked down as a major suspect. He is going on trial in Fairbanks for the crime. 

Steven H. Downs had been a student at UAF at the time of the murder, living on a different floor in the same dorm. He was originally from Maine, and attended UAF between 1992 and 1996. 


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