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Auburn man charged with Alaska murder has hearing about DNA evidence and alternate suspects

Cece Moore, a DNA genetic genealogist, testified that she's the one who pointed law enforcement to Downs with a DNA match found at the murder scene 28 years ago.

AUBURN, Maine — Hearings continued Friday in Alaska for the case of a man from Auburn who is accused in a 1993 murder case in Fairbanks.

Steven Downs is charged with sexually assaulting and murdering Sophie Sergie who was found dead in a dormitory bathroom at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. He was arrested in Auburn in February 2019.

Cece Moore is a DNA genetic genealogist. She testified that she is the one who pointed law enforcement to Downs with a DNA match found at the murder scene 28 years ago.

Moore had a TV show called the "Genetic Detective” that commonly compared DNA samples and claimed more than 145 successful identifications with cold cases.

Still, Downs’ Maine-based defense attorney Jim Howaniec said they have a lot of issues with the evidence.

"We’ve seen all kinds of problems with the DNA collection evidence. There was a huge botched crime scene of some 19 students were at the crime scene before the police even arrived," Howaniec said. "There are problems with the testing of the DNA evidence that occurred two months later at the Alaska crime lab so we really have some serious, serious questions."

Officials said Downs was discovered as a suspect through a DNA sample that was provided by his aunt who lives in Vermont.

The hearing will continue at a later date. 

Credit: Cecemoore.com
More info on Cece Moore can be found on her website.

More info about Cece Moore can be found here.