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Pitt victim Alina Sheykhet's dad: 'I lost my little princess'

Ben Schmitt
| Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, 6:54 p.m.
Alina Sheykhet
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Alina Sheykhet

Alina Sheykhet, a bright, vivacious college student, aspired to be a physical therapist and work with young children.

“It was her dream,” her father Yan Sheykhet said Monday. “And she worked so hard. She was the best person in the world.”

Yan Sheykhet of Robinson found his daughter, a 20-year-old University of Pittsburgh junior, dead in her Cable Place home in Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood Sunday morning after she did not return a call or answer the door. Paramedics pronounced her dead at the scene from blunt force trauma.

“I lost my beautiful princess,” he said, crying. “I don't know what else to say.”

He described his daughter as well-liked and personable with a love of dancing and singing.

“She made everyone happy,” he said. “She had such a bright future.”

He and Alina's mother, Elly, planned to pick up their daughter for a breast cancer awareness walk Sunday morning when they found her in her home.

“I was screaming, asking her to breathe,” Yan Sheykhet said. “But she didn't. There was lots of blood.”

Alina Sheykhet had an older brother, Artem Sheykhet, and the family was planning his 25th birthday celebration.

“We were supposed to be celebrating,” Yan Sheykhet said.

A friend Alex McCleary tweeted his sympathy to the Sheykhet family Monday.

“Heartbroken that this happened to such a beautiful, sweet, and innocent girl. You are loved Alina. Praying for the Sheykhet family,” McCleary wrote.

Alina Sheykhet graduated from Montour High School in 2015.

In a 2015 Facebook post to her father, she wrote: “Happy Father's Day to the greatest dad out there. Thank you for always being there for me and having my back no matter what. I couldn't get through one day without you. I love you so much, Dad!!”

In another post that same year to her mother, she wrote, “Happy birthday to my gorgeous mother! I can't wait for another year of countless laughs and more memories. You are my best friend and I love you with all my heart.”

According to her Facebook page, she was born in Russia.

Her father said that she had been working at the Hilton Garden Inn in Oakland for about a month.

“She worked with customers at the front desk,” he said. “It was a good job for her because she was so friendly.”

A death notice shared with the Tribune-Review said, “Gone too young and too soon. You will be in our hearts forever. Rest in peace, our little angel.”

Visitation is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Ralph Schugar Chapel Inc., 5509 Centre Ave., Shadyside. A funeral will be at noon Wednesday in the funeral home.

Ben Schmitt is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7991, bschmitt@tribweb.com or via Twitter at @Bencschmitt.

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