PITTSBURGH — The Allegheny County district attorney has provided exclusive new details on the murder of Pitt student Alina Sheykhet.
“We believe he went in through the basement,” Stephen Zappala told Channel 11’s Courtney Brennan.
Zappala is talking about Matthew Darby, Sheykhet's ex-boyfriend, who is charged in her death. He’s in jail in South Carolina awaiting extradition to Pennsylvania.
According to Zappala, Darby used a hammer and knife to attack Sheykhet. Both murder weapons came from inside her home.
"We believe that the murder weapon was taken from the house, was already in the house," he said.
Pittsburgh police say Darby dropped those weapons into a sewer about two blocks away from Sheykhet’s home before fleeing to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where he was eventually caught.
Channel 11 also has learned Darby now faces a new rape charge in Allegheny County, in addition to the rape charge he currently faces in Indiana County.
"A week, approximately, before the homicide took place in Oakland, the juvenile accused Darby of raping her," Zappala said. "That matter is being investigated by the county police and we authorized charging two days ago."
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Zappala said the victim told Pittsburgh police she was raped a week before Alina's murder in Elizabeth Township, and county police are now investigating that case.
"So you have the rape in Indiana, you have the trespass in Allegheny County, you've got allegations of rape in Allegheny County and you've got the homicide, so this is a bad man," Zappala said.
Channel 11 asked Zappala whether, given the violence involved in that series of alleged incidents, if he would seek the death penalty.
“The nature of the conduct merits consideration, but it's a little too early to determine whether or not that would be appropriate," he said.
Sources told Channel 11 investigators tracked Darby to West Virginia, where he used an ATM after allegedly killing Sheykhet, and have surveillance video of him changing the license plates on his car before driving on to Myrtle Beach.
A vigil is planned for Sheykhet on Thursday night, with another planned this weekend. A high school friend, Salvatore Desimone, spoke at her funeral Wednesday and told Channel 11 Thursday she was a joy to be around.
"She was just too perfect for the world, so God wanted her back," he said.
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