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DNA links Arkansas man to 1996 Alaska strangulation death

By MARK THIESSEN Associated Press
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska State Troopers say DNA has helped close the 24-year-old murder case of a teenager in Sitka. Troopers announced Tuesday that DNA from the scene matched that of an Arkansas man who was living in Sitka at the time of Jessica Baggen’s sexual assault and strangulation. Troopers say 66-year-old Steve Branch of Austin, Arkansas, killed himself after refusing to give troopers a DNA sample last week. Later, DNA was obtained at the autopsy that matched him to samples left at the scene in 1996.


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