DNA links Arkansas man to 1996 Alaska strangulation death

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A DNA match has solved the strangulation murder of a teenager in southeast Alaska, a case that was cold for 24 years and saw another man acquitted of the crime after confessing, Alaska State Troopers said Tuesday.

DNA obtained from Steve Branch, 66, of Austin, Arkansas, at an autopsy matched that of a sample left at the scene where Jessica Baggen, 17, was sexually assaulted and killed in Sitka in 1996, troopers said.

Troopers interviewed Branch at his Arkansas home on Aug. 3, when he denied involvement and refused to voluntarily provide a DNA sample. A half-hour after...

 

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