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Crime

Ex-Boyfriend Wanted for Questioning in Pittsburgh Student’s Slaying Is Arrested in South Carolina

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Matthew Darby, who is wanted for questioning after his college student ex-girlfriend was found dead in Pittsburgh on Sunday, has been arrested for allegedly tampering with a window in South Carolina, PEOPLE confirms.

Darby, 21, was being sought by Pittsburgh police in connection with 20-year-old University of Pittsburgh student Alina Sheykhet, his ex, whose body was discovered on her bedroom floor Sunday morning by her father. She died of blunt force trauma.

Sheykhet’s death has been ruled a homicide, according to Pittsburgh police.

Darby is currently in custody in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, according to jail records. He is accused of both giving false information to police and loitering.

Police found Darby after responding to a report of a man “tampering with a window at a residence,” local TV station WTAE reports.

“He [sounded] extremely exhausted and depressed to me,” Darby’s attorney, David Shrager, tells PEOPLE.

“My preference clearly would have been for him to turn himself into me, so we could do everything in a more appropriate and disciplined fashion. That being said, I am pleased that he is was taken into custody peacefully,” Shrager says.

Previously speaking to TribLive, Sheykhet’s father said she was an aspiring physical therapist.

“It was her dream,” he said. “And she worked so hard. She was the best person in the world.”

“I lost my beautiful princess,” he continued. “I don’t know what else to say.”

Alina Sheykhet
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Matthew Darby

On Tuesday, Darby’s family pleaded with him to come home after police announced they were searching for him in connection with Sheykhet’s death.

According to Shrager, the news of their son’s arrest is hard on his family.

“Matthew’s mother and father are beyond devastated,” Shrager says. “It’s taking an emotional and psychological toll on them and they’re doing their best to deal with the circumstance with dignity and respect.”

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The 29-year-old has a history of alleged violence against women, according to court documents. In February, in Indiana County, Pennsylvania, he was charged with rape, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault and additional charges against a different ex-girlfriend.

He allegedly forced his ex to perform a sex act on him before raping her after a fight late one night.

He has not entered a plea in that case and he was released from jail after making bail, according to Indiana County court officials.

Darby is awaiting extradition to Pittsburgh.

On Wednesday he appeared before a South Carolina judge via video and was denied bail, WTAE reports.