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A man has been indicted for allegedly murdering a New York nurse and sexually abusing her dead body after luring her out on a Tinder date. As previously reported, cops arrested Danueal Drayton, 31, while he allegedly held another woman captive in a hotel room. In the midst of all this, he had been already out of custody while facing a separate criminal case for allegedly choking an ex-girlfriend.
“This family deserves justice,” District Attorney Melinda Katz said of Drayton allegedly murdering New York nurse Samantha Stewart, 29. “This was a brutal crime that makes every person using a dating app fearful. The victim was duped into going out on a date with the defendant, who played a charmer online but was in fact an alleged sexual predator. The defendant is accused of brutally beating and then killing this innocent woman in her own home. After this heinous act of violence, the defendant fled the state to escape prosecution. Now back in our custody, this defendant will be held to account for his alleged actions.”
Drayton was extradited from California to New York, and finally arraigned on Friday for charges of murder in the second degree, grand larceny in the fourth degree, petit larceny, sexual misconduct, identity theft in the second and third degree, unlawful possession of personal identification information in the third degree and criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree.
Drayton, formerly of New Haven, Connecticut, lured Stewart through Tinder to go out on a date, prosecutors said. They went back to her apartment in the Springfield Gardens neighborhood of Queens, New York, north of JFK airport.
“Sometime that day, the defendant allegedly beat and strangled the 29-year-old nurse and then engaged in sexual conduct with the dead body,” prosecutors said.
Stewart’s brother found her body the next day wrapped in a blanket on her bedroom floor, authorities said.
Drayton allegedly took her credit cards, fled in a white van found at Kennedy International Airport, and used one of the cards to buy a ticket to California.
Cops arrested him in Los Angeles just days later on July 24, 2018. It was there that they say he held a woman captive in a hotel room.
“The common denominator in these two cases–one being a murder, one being a rape–is dating websites,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said at the time, according to CBS News. “So this individual is known to us and it is believed by us that this individual uses dating web sites to meet women and then victimize these women.”
When we captured Danuel Drayton in LA for the murder of Queens nurse Samantha Stewart, he had another victim held captive. He’s off the streets but may have victimized others via online dating sites. Need help or have info? Call 800-577-TIPS/ sex crimes hotline 212-267-RAPE pic.twitter.com/iif7E9KuyA
— Chief Kenneth Corey (@NYPDChiefOfDept) July 26, 2018
“Right after he commit a gruesome murder here and destroy my family, he went to California and just almost did the same thing,” Stewart’s father Kenneth said at the time. “Thank God they catch him before he could destroy another family.”
Drayton was out of custody after he was accused of choking an ex-girlfriend in Nassau County, New York, according to The New York Times. The judge canceled his $2,000 bail after not knowing he had a conviction record in Connecticut for strangulation, harassment, and violating protective orders. The details were missing from his New York file.
[Image via New York Police Department]
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