MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- Matthew Darby, charged in Pittsburgh with the brutal murder of his ex-girlfriend, was finally captured several states away by police who initially had no idea who he was.
An anonymous caller alerted Myrtle Beach police to a man acting suspiciously near a hotel on the Grand Strand, the stretch of Atlantic Coast that draws millions of tourists to this part of South Carolina every year.
It's the off-season, though, and many residences are vacant.
Channel 11 spoke to a member of the Myrtle Beach Police Department on Wednesday, who told us the circumstances of Darby's arrest.
“The citizen contacted the authorities and reported the male was checking some windows at a residence,” police Capt. Joey Crosby told Channel 11. “Officers responded to the scene, initiated an investigation, identified Darby and come to know he was wanted for murder in your jurisdiction.”
Neighbors say there was a good chance Darby could have found an unoccupied home in which to hide.
"I was surprised somebody seen him trying to get into windows," said resident James Schwartz, who saw the police activity outside his apartment. "I think that's really good, because he could have gotten in somewhere."
Crosby wouldn’t say whether Darby – who was alone – said anything to the officers, but said he did not resist them.
“As far as I know, the arrest was made without incident,” Crosby said.
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Darby is accused of killing Alina Sheykhet, 20, a Pitt student found dead of blunt force trauma in her Oakland home on Sunday.
"Oh my goodness, that's horrible," said Jerry Nunziato of Youngstown, Ohio, who is vacationing in Myrtle Beach. "Especially with all these killings we've been having all over the country."
Darby was arraigned before a judge who set a $1,000 bond on the loitering charge and denied bond on the homicide charge. When asked how he was pleading, Darby said he needed to talk to his attorney.
Crosby told Channel 11 he didn't know why Darby came to Myrtle Beach.
“We’re very grateful to the citizen who called so we were able to get this violent offender off the street,” Crosby said.
It's not yet clear how Darby got from Pittsburgh to Myrtle Beach, or what his plans were once he got there. It's also not clear whether Darby made any statements to Myrtle Beach police.
Darby waived his extradition hearing Wednesday, and Pittsburgh police are expected to pick him up in about a week.
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