Murder suspect caught in Myrtle Beach beat former girlfriend to death, police say

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Myrtle Beach Police arrested a man Wednesday morning who is wanted for murder in Pennsylvania.

Captain Joey Crosby with the police department says a Myrtle Beach resident called police around 12:48 a.m. Wednesday morning after seeing a man tampering with a house. Officer arrived at the scene and the witness described the man to police.

After investigating, police learned the suspect, Matthew Isaiah Darby, 21, was wanted by authorities in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for murder.

CBS affiliate KDKA reports Darby is accused of murdering his former girlfriend, 20-year-old Alina Shekyhet, who was found bruised and badly beaten in her Oakland apartment early Sunday morning by her parents who called for help. Paramedics then pronounced Shekyhet dead at the scene from blunt force trauma.

Less than three weeks before being killed, Shekyhet filed an application for a PFA against Darby for breaking into the second-floor window of her home, KDKA reports. Darby was arrested for the break-in and granted a $10,000 bond for the criminal trespass charge.

KDKA reports Shekyhet’s autopsy revealed her skull was fractured in two places, she had severe trauma to her mouth from a sharp-edged weapon, her nose was broken, teeth had been knocked out, and her tongue had severe lacerations.

Police report surveillance video shows a man matching Darby’s description drop a shiny object down a storm drain and toss another object in a dumpster. Investigators later found a claw hammer and two stainless steel knives in the sewer drain, which are believed to be the murder weapons, writes KDKA.

During a press conference in Pennsylvania, Attorney David J. Shrager read a statement from Darby’s parents:

“Matthew, son, we have always handled things as a family. Together, we can get through anything. God is still God, and we stand on his word. We are pleading with you to contact your attorney. You told me just last Friday that you trusted David and he would see you through these issues. He still will, but you have to call, text or email him. We know you are scared and probably think things are stacked against you, please trust us and know that doing the right thing is always best. Turn yourself in to David and we will work through this as a family. Your mother and I love you with all our hearts. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim and her family.”

Darby is also charged in a February rape case in Indiana County, Pennsylvania brought by another former girlfriend, states KDKA. The woman claims the assault happened after she broke up with Darby and he called her 33 times in one night. When the woman allowed Darby to come to her home to apologize, she told police Darby “controlled her by pulling her hair and raped her,” the CBS affiliate writes.

Myrtle Beach police charged Darby with giving false information to police and fugitive from justice. Darby will be extradited to Pennsylvania once the extradition process is complete, confirms Capt. Crosby.

Darby had his first court appearance at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Myrtle Beach Jail. During that bond hearing, Darby was denied bond on the fugitive warrant out of Pennsylvania after the judge declared him a flight risk and a danger to the community.

Darby requested his lawyer before making a decision on extradition. The accused killer also wants his lawyer before entering a plea on the charges he faces in Myrtle Beach.

Had it not been for a phone call from a concerned citizen, Darby could still be out on the streets of Myrtle Beach today. Crosby says this proves their message of “see something, say something” works.

“A lot of times, an individual thinks they have to do something big to make a significant impact in their community, but as you’ve seen here with what happened last night, all it takes is a simple phone call. If you see something, say something,” said Crosby.

In several instances in the last few months, witnesses and members of the community have been reluctant to talk to the police.

Crosby says no piece of evidence is too small. You don’t even have to give your name, and you can help take a violent offender off the streets.

If you’d like to submit an anonymous tip to the department, call the Myrtle Beach Police Department at (843)918-1382.