Suspected dating app killer may have more victims in NY, CT

Danueal Drayton

Danueal Drayton

The former girlfriend of a man suspected of murdering a nurse in Queens and who claims he's been involved in seven murders nationwide is speaking out, describing harrowing details of the night she says he strangled her and threatened to kill her. Danueal Drayton is accused of killing 29-year-old Samantha Stewart, who was found dead in her home on July 17.

'There weren't any issues. She had taken a picture of Drayton at a pizza parlor before he assaulted her.

CT probation officials told the Hartford Courant the last time they saw Drayton was in May. He was trying to kill me. "No, no. I told you, it's just me and you"'. He said that after Stewart's death, he was determined to subvert them.

Although Drayton admitted to these crimes, police are unclear if he is telling the truth or making up stories.

But on July 5, Nassau County officials let him go.

Drayton, 27, was arrested last week in Los Angeles by a regional fugitive task force after the police in NY tracked him to a hotel room there, law enforcement authorities said.

"It would have been impossible for the judge at that time to foresee the allegations that are presently unfolding", a spokesperson for the Nassau court told WABC-TV.

"Right after he commit a gruesome murder here and destroy my family, he went to California and just nearly did the same thing", Samantha Stewart's father, Kenneth, told CNN affiliate WCBS.

Law enforcement sources told The Daily News Drayton has cooperated in interviews with investigators.

He admitted to police that he killed two people in CT, according to the Daily News, as well as a murder in the Bronx and one in Suffolk County.

'My body did this, not my mind, ' Drayton allegedly told police.

"I didn't want anyone else to get hurt", he said with tears in his eyes. "My body made me do this". Authorities said they are trying to verify those claims.

Police said Drayton lured women into dates via Tinder before assaulting them.

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"It is believed by us that this individual uses dating websites to meet women, and then victimizes these women", NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea told reporters at a news conference last week.

Between 2011 and February 2018, Drayton had five previous arrests in his home state of CT, including an arrest on a second-degree strangulation charge, ABC 7 reported.

January 1, 2018: Arrested for second-degree harassment.

In a statement, the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County, which was representing Drayton in that case expressed its condolences to Stewart's family, but declined to comment on the latest developments.

Margaret Wright Stewart, Stewart's mother, and her best friend, Margaret Foster, remarked on how the mother and daughter shared the same smile - wide and full of teeth. While in California, he jumped back on Tinder, police say.

Stewart called his daughter's killer "a monster" and 'pure evil'.

"She just trusted someone who had bad intentions, and now she'll never be able to recover from it", Foster said.

Drayton is also tied to a Brooklyn rape of a 23-year-old woman who also answered the suspect's Tinder profile.

After Samantha Stewart's killing, NYPD detectives used DNA evidence to link her homicide to an unsolved rape case in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Shortly after Stewart was murdered, Drayton purchased a one-way ticket to California and arranged another date with an unsuspecting woman.

Despite the initial difficulty, Drayton pleaded not guilty to an attempted murder charge stemming from his arrest in North Hollywood last week.

He has not yet made his first court appearance because he is reportedly refusing to leave his cell. His bail has been set at $1.25 million.

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