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Steven Downs of Maine Bio, Wiki, Age, Parents, Siblings, Arrest, Charges, Employment, 1993 Murder of Sophie Sergie

Steven Downs arrested for the murder of a 20-year-old woman (Sergie) in 1993 at the University of Alaska Fairbanks

Steven Downs Bio, Wiki

Steven Downs Full Name: Steven Harris Downs

Steven Downs Age: 44 years old as of 2019

Steven Downs Parents: Karla and Philip Downs

Steven Downs Siblings: One Sister

Steven Downs in News for: Murder of a 20-year-old woman (Sophie Sergie) in 1993 at the University of Alaska Fairbanks

Steven Downs is a 44-year-old nurse from Maine who has been arrested in the murder of a 20-year-old woman in 1993. The murder took place on the campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The arrest comes nearly 26 years after she was killed, authorities say. Steven Downs is facing murder, sexual assault and other charges in the death of Sophie Sergie after DNA obtained through a genealogical database linked him to the case, investigators say.

Steven Downs Background Information

Steven Harris Downs is a native of Auburn, Maine. His parents are Karla and Philip Downs, and he has one sister. Downs attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks from 1992 to 1996 and then spent time living in Tucson, Arizona, from 1998 to 2003.

Downs returned to Auburn in 2003 and has lived in a single-family home on Hillcrest Street there since 2004. He purchased the home for $196,000.

It is not clear what kind of work Downs did prior to becoming a registered nurse in 2011 or where, or if, he was working at the time of his arrest.

According to CBS 13, Downs’ parents told a reporter they did not know he had been arrested on rape and murder charges. They said they were shocked and needed time to process the news. His parents told the news station they got a call from Alaska State Troopers on Friday, February 15th, but assumed it was a scam and ignored it.

Steven Downs Employment History & Inappropriate behavior with Female Employees

Steven Downs is a former employee at Maine at Harris Hosue in Livermore Falls, an intermediate care facility for patients with intellectual disabilities who need nursing care. He was fired in April 2016 for a “totality of substandard performance,” according to public records. It is not clear if he was employed as a nurse elsewhere after his termination, but his nursing license remains active.

As per a “consent agreement for warning and education” that Downs signed with the State of Maine Board of Nursing in 2016, following a complaint made by his former employer, Downs was first licensed to practice as a registered nurse in 2011.

According to the complaint, Downs “made statements to a co-worker that made the individual uncomfortable” in January 2016. Downs said it was not his intent to make her uncomfortable and apologized to her. A second female co-worker “complained that one evening Downs made her uncomfortable through his words and actions when discussing a resident care matter in March 2016. Downs disputes that his conduct was inappropriate,” according to the agreement.

Downs was also accused of mishandling medications. In September 2016, the nursing board offered Downs a consent agreement with the following disciplinary terms: “a warning and a requirement that he successfully complete a course in professional boundaries, pre-approved by the board’s executive director, within three months of the execution of the consent agreement.”

He completed a course called “professional boundaries in nursing.” According to state records, Downs’ nursing license remains active until August 31st, 2020.

 

Steven Downs Arrested in Connection to the 1993 murder of Sophie Sergie

Steven Downs was an 18-year-old freshman at the Alaska college when Sergie was killed, according to court documents. Downs was interviewed briefly by police at the time of the murder but denied any knowledge of what happened, investigators said in charging documents. Sergie was a Native Alaskan from the western village of Pitkas Point. At the time of her murder, she was visiting a friend at the University of Alaska Fairbanks when she was brutally sexually assaulted and killed inside a dormitory there.

Sophie Sergie
Sophie Sergie

Sophie Sergie was found dead inside a bathroom in Bartlett Hall on the campus of University of Alaska Fairbanks on April 26th, 1993, according to court documents. Sergie’s body was in a bathtub with stab wounds and a gunshot wound to the back of the head, police said. Evidence showed she had been sexually assaulted.

Investigators used new DNA technology that has led to arrests in several cold cases around the country, most notably in the Golden State Serial killer case, according to the Portland Press-Herald. Downs, of Auburn, Maine, was arrested Friday, February 15th, 2019 at his home. He was charged with first-degree murder and first-degree sexual assault, court records show.

Steven Downs has no criminal record, excluding traffic violations, online records show. He remains in custody at Androscoggin County Jail in Maine and is expected to appear in court on Tuesday, February 19, for the first time. He faces extradition to Alaska.

Steven Downs Investigations Build up

At the time Sophie Sergie was killed, DNA technology was not being used at that time in Alaska, Investigators were, however, able to take DNA from the body in 1993. The DNA sample was tested in the late 1990s and then again in May 2000, but it did not match any DNA profiles uploaded into a national database. It also did not match suspects who were explored in the case.

Some closure in the case came in 2018 when Alaska State Troopers Investigator Randy McPherron was assigned to the case. He contacted a lab that uses genealogical cases to identify possible suspects in unsolved criminal cases, and the lab agreed to analyze the forensic sample in Sergie’s case and compare it to databases, according to court documents.

The lab submitted the DNA profile obtained from the crime scene to a public database, GEDmatch, and found “two promising matches (second cousins or closer) and three potentially promising matches (third cousin or closer.) On December 18th, 2018, the lab said it found a likely relative of the suspect and had, “through process of elimination determined that the known relative to the DNA profile had only one possible second-degree relationship with a male relative, her nephew, Steven H. Downs.”

The lab’s researchers found that Downs had been born in Maine, but attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks from 1992 to 1996. Downs had never been arrested previously and therefore his DNA had never been submitted to the national database.

On February 13th, 2019, Downs was interviewed by the Main State Police, who were working with Alaska State Troopers. Downs told detectives he remembered a woman was murdered in his dorm at UAF but said he didn’t’ know her and had never been in contact with her.

The Maine detectives produced the photos of Sergie and showed Downs one more time before leaving and he told them, “I remember the pictures, it’s terrible, poor girl,” before again denying he knew her, according to court documents.

On February 14th, a search warrant was executed to search Downs’ home and obtained a DNA sample. The Maine State Crime Lab analyzed Downs’ DNA sample and confirmed his DNA profile matched the profile of the DNA sample from Sergie’s body. He was arrested without incident on February 15th.

A full Charge Sheet document is provided below:

Steven Downs Charging Document by on Scribd

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