New York Murder Suspect Caught in California, Next Victim Rescued

July 27, 2018 Last Updated: July 27, 2018

Police officers arrested a New York murder suspect in a California hotel room—where his next likely victim was already tied up, waiting to be slaughtered.

NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot F. Shea tweeted that the suspect in the killing of a 29-year-old nurse had been arrested.

Danueal Drayton, 27, of New Haven, Connecticut, was arrested on Tuesday, July 24, by officers of the New York, New Jersey, and Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Forces.

The New York Post reported a police department source said, “When they go to the room, they find another woman tied up in his room alive.”

NYPD Chief Dermot F. Shea tweeted a confirmation of the arrest on July 25: “NY/NJ & PSW Regional Fugitive Task Forces apprehended a violent NYC predator prior to possibly taking another life in California.”  

Besides being the sole suspect in the killing of a New York nurse, Drayton was linked by DNA to a rape in Brooklyn, the New York Post reported.

Tortured and Murdered

Drayton met Samantha Stewart on Tinder and they had been dating.

Stewart’s body was found by family members at her home in Jamaica, Queens, on July 17.

Stewart’s brother, Dewayne Stewart, 25, called his sister on July 16, only to have a strange man answer the phone, the Daily News reported.

“This guy picked up her phone. He told me he had her phone by accident and he had her car keys that she had left (to see) our younger brother. So I told him I would come for them,” Stewart said.

Dewayne Stewart actually met his sister’s murderer outside her home, while her body, bound and beaten, was upstairs in her apartment.

“I got there and he came downstairs he gave me the keys. I never met him before. He was kind of fidgety, but I wasn’t taking it that serious. He told me his name under his breath, but it was muffled. I can’t remember it. I didn’t think anything of it.”

When Stewart could not get a response the next day, he returned to his sister’s apartment with his father. Dewayne Stewart used a butter knife to pry open a window.

Inside he found his sister’s body.

(Deon Dejuka Dorsette Colbourne Sr.‎/Episcopalians on Facebook)
(Deon Dejuka Dorsette Colbourne Sr.‎/Episcopalians on Facebook)

Stewart’s body was wrapped in a sheet. The cause of death was strangulation, according to the medical examiner.

“It’s something that will stay with you for the rest of your life. I never expected to see my daughter in that condition—lifeless body, wrapped up into like a piece of dirty rag,” Kenneth Stewart told the Daily News.

Stewart’s 17-year-old brother Keniel also entered the room.

“I took a glimpse of her and went back outside,” Keniel told the Daily News. “That’s not how I wanted to remember her, so I didn’t want to see her.”

“She was tortured,” Kenneth Stewart told NBC New York. “Tied up and tortured for hours. I just imagine the pain she endure in the last moments of her life.”

Samantha Stewart was apparently murdered by a man she met on the dating site Tinder. (Facebook)
Samantha Stewart was apparently murdered by a man she met on the dating site Tinder. (Facebook)

Dating Site Danger

Police believe Drayton met Stewart, and possibly the rape victim, on the dating site Tinder.

Rejection might have been the motivation for the brutal crime.

“She was dating someone and he didn’t want to break it off,” Kenneth Stewart told the Daily News.

Samantha Stewart’s aunt, Ruby Dixon, hopes what happened to her niece will make other young ladies aware of the potential dangers of online dating sites.

“What I would like to say to young women dating, you need to be careful,” Dixon told NBC New York. “Need to let someone in their family know who they are dating.”