AUBURN, Maine — Steven Downs, 44, is set to appear in court Tuesday morning for the sexual assault and murder of 20-year-old Sophie Sergie at the University of Alaska Fairbanks back in 1993.
Alaska State Troopers announced the arrest Friday.
Sergie's body was reportedly found in a dorm bathroom in April of 1993 on the University of Alaska campus where Downs was a student.
Downs was taken into custody 1 p.m. Friday at a local business in Auburn.
"While an arrest doesn’t bring Sophie back, we are relieved to provide this closure," said Col. Barry Wilson, director of the Alaska State Troopers. "This case has haunted and frustrated Sophie’s family and friends, the investigators and beyond. However, we did it. Investigators never gave up on Sophie."
Over the years, "despite the arduous and meticulous effort done by a variety of investigators," a suspect was never identified, Alaska DPS said.
New DNA that combines genetic information and genealogy eventually linked Downs to the crime.
That DNA testing, at the center of this case, is the same technology that was used to arrest the "Golden State Killer."
"You find a good match, you may be able to solve this case," Dr. Ellen Greytak, one of Parabon Labs lead geneticists, said. "All of this has really come together into a perfect storm that has made this technology now possible."
According to a complaint filed with the State of Maine Board of Nursing in 2016, Downs received a warning for "engaging unprofessional conduct" and was ordered to complete a course in professional boundaries.
The complaint also details incidents in February and March of 2016 in which he documented administering medications hours prior to administering the medications. In July, according to documents, Downs responded to the complaint about the medications by acknowledging the error. He said his business practices were affected by how busy and short-staffed the facility was. He was continuing to take courses on medication safety education and provided the board with proof.
Downs was first licensed to practice as an RN in Maine in 2011. On April 11, 2016 Harris House notified the Board of Nursing it had discharged Downs citing "a totality of substandard performance."
Downs is currently being held at Androscoggin County Jail. He is expected to be extradited to Alaska where he'll stand trial.