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'How could you?' family asks man charged with killing girlfriend

September 6, 2012 |  8:04 am

TangThe last time Alexandra Tang's family spoke to the Santa Barbara woman, they said, she was looking forward to a weekend barbecue with the man now accused of killing her.

Tang's family held a memorial for the 24-year-old at their Santa Barbara home Wednesday, where they told KTLA they were shocked by both the news of her death and the suspect: Tang's college sweetheart, Derek Pinski.

"Like, how could you?" Tang's sister, Candice Tang Nyholt, said. "She cared about you."

Pinski, also 24, was arrested outside his father's home in Mesa, Ariz., hours after Tang was found dead in Laguna Hills with several stab wounds, the Orange County district attorney's office said. Pinski, who was charged with murder Wednesday, remained in a Maricopa County jail Thursday morning awaiting extradition to Orange County.

Tang and Pinski met as students at UC Santa Barbara, authorities said. She was visiting him at the Laguna Hills home he shared with his mother and a renter when Pinski allegedly stabbed her about 10:30 a.m. Saturday, authorities said.

Pinski's mother discovered Tang's body and called 911, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

By about 8 p.m., Pinski had been arrested by Maricopa County sheriff's deputies.

Nyholt wept as she told the television station about the call she received from her mother.

"I was just in shock and I thought it was a really bad joke," Nyholt said.

Tang's father called his daughter's death "a sickening feeling."

"She still told me, 'I love you Dad,' " he told KTLA. "A lot of kids, when they become a teenager, they stop saying those things. But she never did."

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— Kate Mather

Follow Kate Mather on Twitter or Google+.

Photo: Alexandra Tang. Credit: Family photo via KTLA News

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