SANTA BARBARA, California - It’s been a week of rosary prayers for the tight-knit Santa Barbara Filipino community at the Tang household.
Local dentist and active community member Alex Tang’s youngest daughter Alexandra, was found stabbed to death in Orange County over the weekend.
The Tang family has been active with the Filipino community since Alex and his wife Elizabeth immigrated to the US in the 1970s.
Friends and family have been trying to make sense of the tragedy.
“It’s very hard to believe. We keep trying to think it’s just a bad dream but eventually we realize it’s happening, it’s real," said Alex.
Alexandra had recently graduated from the University of California Santa Barbara with a psychology degree and recently took a job in Orange County, working with autistic children.
Police have accused Alexandra’s boyfriend, 25-year-old Orange County resident Derek Pinski of the murder. The couple met in college and had been dating for a year.
Police said Alexandra was visiting Pinski at his mother’s home in the Orange County city of Laguna Hills. Pinski’s mother had discovered the body, and she was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said Pinski then fled to Arizona where his father lives. He was arrested days after the alleged murder took place.
Pinski is yet to make a court appearance in Arizona. It is unknown if he has hired an attorney. He has yet to speak to any media, as he is awaiting his extradition which will bring him back to California to face murder charges.
“We’re hoping to get a good trial and we’re hoping for justice,” said Alex.
Remembered as an outgoing and helpful person, the Tang family is hoping her death, can help other people.
Instead of flowers and monetary gifts for the family, they’re asking the community to raise funds for Santa Barbara-based Domestic Violence Solutions.
“We like to do that so she would be remembered every year forever and out of this tragic outcome, we would be able to help other people,” he said.
His wife, Elizabeth added, “So that it doesn’t happen to other families what happened to her”.