LONOKE COUNTY, Ark. – KARK’s Mitch McCoy speaks to the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office about Arkansas resident Steve Branch, the man accused if raping and killing a 17-year-old in Alaska in 1996.
Authorities believe Branch moved to Lonoke County, Arkansas about 10 years ago. Deputies say he was essentially living under the radar until Alaskan authorities caught up with him
You can watch the full interview above.
This case dates back to 1996 when police say Jessica Baggen, 17, disappeared in the early morning hours in May. Her body was found two days later.
“In February 2019, a sniff DNA profile was developed and uploaded into public genealogy databases, after several months of research a new subject was submerged, Steve Branch,” Alaska State Trooper Major David Hanson said.
Earlier this week, Alaska State Troopers named Steve Branch, 66, of Austin, Arkansas as the suspect who sexually assaulted and murdered Baggen.