Matthew Darby is wanted for questioning after ex-girlfriend Alina Sheykhet was found dead

By Harriet Sokmensuer
October 10, 2017 04:39 PM
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Matthew Darby
Pittsburg Police Dept.

The attorney for a Pennsylvania man for whom police are searching after his ex-girlfriend was found dead in her bedroom this weekend publicly urged his client to come home during a Tuesday press conference.

Matthew Darby has been wanted for questioning since ex-girlfriend, Alina Sheykhet, 20, a University of Pittsburgh student, was found dead by her father Sunday morning in her Pittsburgh bedroom. She died from blunt force trauma and her death has been ruled a homicide, Pittsburgh police have said.

“Matthew, if you’re out there, turn yourself in, I can help you, they’re going to help you,” attorney David Shrager said during a press conference Tuesday. “You’re not even charged in this case, and I know you’re afraid.”

A statement written by Darby’s parents and read by Shrager Tuesday said, “Matthew, son, we have always handled things as a family. Together we can get through anything.” The statement added, “God is still God, and we stand on his word. We are pleading with you to contact your attorney.”

Shrager described his client as “polite, soft spoken, calm [and] respectful.”

He did not comment on the current nature of Darby and Sheykhet’s relationship, other than confirming they were once in a “romantic relationship.”

According to court documents obtained by PEOPLE, Sheykhet filed a restraining order against Darby in September for alleged abuse. The order was granted.

In the order, she alleged Darby had climbed up the gutter of her home and broke her second-floor window because she “left him and stopped answering his phone calls.”

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In February, Darby was charged with rape, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault and additional charges against a different ex-girlfriend, according to court documents obtained by PEOPLE.

The ex-girlfriend told police that at around 2 a.m. one Sunday morning, Darby told the accuser that he wanted to talk. She told him she was out with friends and that she would call him later. But by 4:30 a.m., Darby had called the accuser 33 times, the court documents allege.

Seeing his calls, the accuser agreed that Darby could come over for 30 minutes, the documents allege. Upon arrival, the alleged victim took Darby into her bedroom so as not to wake up her roommate. When the pair started talking about their datings lives, Darby allegedly learned that the accuser was seeing someone new.

He then allegedly grabbed the accuser’s private area over her clothes and said, “This is mine, understand? It’s always going to be mine.”

Darby and the accuser allegedly began to fight, and Darby allegedly forced the accuser to perform a sex act on him before raping her.

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

Shrager could not be reached by PEOPLE for additional comment.

Sheykhet’s father told TribLive, “She was the best person in the world,” adding, “I lost my beautiful princess … I don’t know what else to say.”

“She made everyone happy,” he said. “She had such a bright future.”