Suspect Charged in Death of Pitt Student Alina Sheykhet

The former boyfriend of a University of Pittsburgh student who was found dead in her apartment was arrested in South Carolina, CBS News reported.

Matthew Darby, 21, was arrested in the death of Alina Sheykhet on Wednesday at 12:45 a.m. According to WXPI, an anonymous caller told Myrtle Beach police about a man acting suspiciously near a hotel.

“The citizen contacted the authorities and reported the male was checking some windows at a residence,” police Capt. Joey Crosby told the station. “Officers responded to the scene, initiated an investigation, identified Darby, and came to know he was wanted for murder in your jurisdiction.”

Darby was charged with criminal homicide. Police found a claw hammer and knives in a sewer drain near her apartment, and they believe those might have been weapons used against her.

Earlier this year, the suspect was charged with sexually assaulting another ex-girlfriend in Indiana County, Pennsylvania, located northeast of Pittsburgh. He pleaded not guilty to those charges.

On Sunday morning, 20-year-old Sheykhet was found by her father, who broke her door down after she didn’t answer calls.

Officials confirmed that she died of head trauma, and homicide detectives got involved.

“I lost my beautiful princess,” her father told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sheykhet got a restraining order against Darby after he broke into her apartment on Sept. 20, and later, he was arrested Sept. 26 for felony criminal trespassing.

Sheykhet issued a statement in her protection order, saying her ex “climbed up the gutter on the side of the house and broke through the second-floor window of my home,” the paper reported.

“He did this because I left him and stopped answering his phone calls,” she remarked.

A protection order was granted for her.

“He didn’t treat her right,” Curtis Hanner, Sheykhet’s manager, told a CBS affiliate. “He cheated on her a couple of times and was really controlling and called her at work when he shouldn’t have … Sometimes she picked up, but she would instantly hang up or I picked up and I instantly hung up.”

Before Darby was arrested, his lawyer called on him to turn himself in.

“Matthew, if you’re out there, turn yourself in, I can help you, they’re going to help you,” attorney David Shrager told People magazine on Tuesday. “You’re not even charged in this case, and I know you’re afraid.”

His parents said in a statement: “Matthew, son, we have always handled things as a family. Together we can get through anything … We are pleading with you to contact your attorney.”

In a statement by the University of Pittsburgh, the campus said it was “saddened and extends its deepest sympathies to the student’s family and those who knew her.”

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