[UPDATED with Arraignment:] Alexandra Joyce Tang, OC Homicide No. 31: Boyfriend Derek Henry Pinski Held
See Update Nos. 1-2 on the charges against filed by the Orange County District Attorney's office and the family of slain Alexandra Joyce Tang speaking out.
Derek Pinski, 24, of Laguna Hills, was taken into custody nine hours later in Mesa, Arizona, for the fatal stabbing of his girlfriend, Alexandra Joyce Tang, also 24, of Santa Barbara.
Pinski was initially identified as a person of interest in the case, as sheriff's investigators who released his photo to the media explained he was believed to have been at the Caminito Tasquillo residence before Tang expired.
Detectives were also aware Pinski drove to Mesa, adding that no other suspects in the case were being sought and public safety was not an issue.
Upon Pinski's capture 350 miles away in Arizona, the Orange County Sheriff's Department issued a new statement saying extradition proceedings would begin and once the man was back in California he would be arrested on suspicion of murdering Tang.
The agency has not yet revealed how many stab wounds were on the body.
|Courtesy of Maricopa County Sheriff's Dept.|
|Derek Henry Pinski faces special circumstance murder charges.|
Tang was still living in Santa Barbara when she came to Laguna Hills recently to visit Pinski, who was staying at the home of his mother and a renter, according to the OCDA, which notes the mother first discovered Tang's body and called 9-1-1.
Pinski was believed to have fled the scene for Mesa, Arizona, where his father resides, states the OCDA, which adds the suspect was arrested around 8 p.m. Saturday at his father's home by the Maricopa County sheriff's deputies.
The OCDA today charged Pinski with one felony count of murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon. He faces a maximum sentence of 26 years to life in state prison if convicted.
Once Pinski is extradited back to Orange County to face the charges, the OCDA will request his bail be set at $1 million, according to prosecutors.
The Orange County sheriff's homicide investigation continues. Recently honored veteran homicide prosecutor Ebrahim Baytieh has been assigned the case.
UPDATE NO. 2, SEPT. 5, 10:58 A.M.: The family of the late Alexandra Joyce Tang released the following prepared statement to the media:
Sandra was such a spirited girl. She was full of life and love. She had an exciting future ahead of her, and no words can fully express how much she'll be missed by all.
The family has also posted a Facebook memorial page you can see HERE.
|Family and friends called her "Alex."|
The man, of course, is alleged killer Derek Henry Pinski, whose relationship with Tang has been further explained by her older sister, Candice Tang Nyholt, a senior account executive with SurfMedia Communications in Santa Barbara.
Tang and Pinksi started dating just over a year ago while attending UC Santa Barbara, where they both were psychology majors who graduated at the same time. The couple celebrated their anniversary last month, Nyholt tells the Santa Barbara Independent, although close to that time they briefly broke up and then got back together.
Pinksi met the Tang family many times and while he was quiet and often kept to himself, he gave no indication of being aggressive or violent, reports Nyholt, adding, "I hate to say it, but I wish there were signs."
Seven years older than her "baby sister," Nyholt said Pinksi was into organic foods and living an overall healthy lifestyle, and he worked at an Orange County Whole Foods market before recently being let go.
Alexandra had recently moved down here to work with autistic children in South County, her big sister tells the Independent.
"We were all really excited about her future, about her making a difference in the world," Nyholt reportedly says. "She did have a big heart, and maybe she was blinded by love. She always wanted to be there for whoever needed help."
UPDATE, SEPT. 13, 1 A.M.: Derek Pinski, who was brought back to Orange County Wednesday from Arizona to face murder charges, is expected to be arraigned today, according to a statement from the Orange County District Attorney's office.
The scheduled time is 10 a.m. in Department CJ-1 of the Central Jail in Santa Ana.
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