On Monday, February 7, 2022, a Fairbanks, Alaska Superior Court Jury sat in their chairs listening to the closing arguments that would bring to an end the several weeks of testimony in the trial of Sophie Sergie’s alleged killer.
After 26 years of searching for answers in the unsolved homicide of 20-year old Sophie Sergie, DNA evidence led detectives from Alaska to the doorstep of Steven Downs in Auburn, Maine. He was once a student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks where Sophie’s body was found dead in a dorm room bath tub in April of 1993. In February of 2022, Downs was back in Fairbanks, sitting in a courtroom and awaiting the jury’s verdict for the charges brought against him.
I have no interest in burying the lead here because of just how rare these conclusions are. On Thursday, February 10, 2022, the jury returned with their verdict. Steven Downs, guilty on the charges of murder and sexual assault. Sophie Sergie’s killer was finally identified and convicted in the long-standing cold case.
I covered Sophie Sergie’s case in two parts on Dark Downeast — here is part 1 and part 2. Be sure to listen to those first before hitting play on this special update. As promised, I want to share the updates and notable moments from the conclusion of the trial proceedings and take a look at what’s next for the case of Sophie Sergie.
Episode Source Material
- Defense gives alternate suspect theories in Sophie Sergie murder trial by Robyne, KUAC, 04 Feb 2022
- Audio tapes of man charged in woman’s 1993 college dorm murder played at trial: “There has to be a mistake”, CBS News, 04 Feb 2022
- Alaska murder trial: DNA didn’t match alternative suspect, witness says by Christopher Williams, Sun Journal, 27 Jan 2022
- Sophie Sergie cold case murder trial ends and goes to jury by Robyne, KUAC – Fairbanks, 08 Feb 2022
- Steven Downs found guilty in 29-year-old murder case by Tim Rockey and Megan Pacer, Alaska News Source, 10 Feb 2022