When a small Alaska town loses one of its children, the entire community grieves, and when a monster brutally rapes, murders, and discards that child, the residents cry out for answers and justice. In the case of Jessica Baggen, the folks in the community of Sitka, Alaska, would not have those answers for twenty-four years.
Boots, Michelle T. 8-11-2020. Suspect in 1996 cold-case murder of Sitka girl killed himself last week in Arkansas, troopers say. Anchorage Daily News. Available at https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/crime-courts/2020/08/11/troopers-announce-theyve-identified-killer-in-1996-sitka-cold-case-murder-of-teenage-girl-arkansas-suspect-kills-himself/#:~:text=When%20cold%20case%20investigators%20traveled,the%20Alaska%20State%20Troopers%20Tuesday.
Boots, Michelle T. 9-9-2020. 23 years ago, Alaska tried the wrong man for the murder of a Sitka teenager. Now police say they’ve found the real killer. Why wasn’t he a suspect all along? Available at https://www.ktoo.org/2020/09/09/23-years-ago-the-state-of-alaska-tried-the-wrong-man-for-the-murder-of-a-sitka-teenager-now-police-say-theyve-found-the-real-killer-why-wasnt-he-a-suspect-all-along/
1996 Cold Case Solved: Jessica Baggen Killer Identified Through DNA. Public Information Office. Alaska Department of Public Safety. Available at https://dps.alaska.gov/AST/PIO/PressReleases/1996-Cold-Case-Solved-Jessica-Baggen-Killer-Ident
Genetic genealogy can help solve cold cases. It can also accuse the wrong person. 11-7-2019. PBS News Hour. Available at https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/genetic-genealogy-can-help-solve-cold-cases-it-can-also-accuse-the-wrong-person
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Robin Barefield is the author of four Alaska wilderness mystery novels, Big Game, Murder Over Kodiak, The Fisherman’s Daughter, and Karluk Bones. Sign up to subscribe to her free, monthly newsletter on true murder and mystery in Alaska.