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Alina Sheykhet murder: Pittsburgh police hunt her ex-boyfriend

Matthew Darby, 21, of Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Image copyright City of Pittsburgh

Police in the US state of Pennsylvania are seeking the ex-boyfriend of a college student found dead by her parents in her bedroom.

Alina Sheykhet, 20, was pronounced dead at the scene at her Pittsburgh home on Sunday from blunt-force trauma.

She sought a restraining order against Matthew Darby, 21, after he broke into her apartment last month.

Police have been unable to locate him. Mr Darby’s lawyer appealed to his client: “Turn yourself in.”

Attorney David Schrager said at a news conference on Tuesday: “You have not been charged. We can work through this.”

Police said Mr Darby is potentially armed and dangerous.

Image copyright Facebook

Ms Sheykhet, a physical therapist student at the University of Pittsburgh, filed a protection-from-abuse order against Mr Darby last month.

He was arrested and charged with felony criminal trespass after he allegedly broke into her apartment on 26 September.

In her request for a protection order, Ms Sheykhet said Mr Darby “climbed up the gutter on the side of the house and broke through the second-floor window of my home,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

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

Mr Darby is awaiting trial on rape and other sexual assault charges against him in Indiana County.

He posted a $10,000 (£7,500) bail in that case in March.

The bond was revoked on Sunday for a violation of bail release conditions. His preliminary hearing was scheduled for 17 October.

Ms Sheykhet’s parents reportedly went to pick her up on Sunday morning but her roommates said she was still sleeping, according to her father, Yan Sheykhet.

When she did not answer their calls, her father kicked open the door and found her on the floor, he told the Post-Gazette.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death a homicide and confirmed she had died from “blunt-force trauma”.

Police said on Monday they did not believe her death was a random act of violence and there was no immediate threat to residents and the university community, according to Pittsburgh police Chief Scott Schubert.

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


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