Suspect in Murder of New York Nurse May Be Serial Killer

By Chris Jasurek
Chris Jasurek
Chris Jasurek
July 28, 2018 Updated: July 28, 2018

A man arrested for the torture and murder of a Queens, New York nurse and implicated in the rape of a Brooklyn woman, may be connected to six other killings.

Danueal Drayton, 27, of New Haven, Connecticut, was arrested in an apartment in California on July 24 in connection with the murder of Samantha Stewart, 29, a nurse from Jamaica, Queens.

When Drayton was arrested he had a woman with him, apparently about to be his next victim. He had already tied her up, raped, and beat her.

DNA then connected the Connecticut man to the June 17 rape of a 23-year-old Brooklyn woman, according to the New York Daily News.

Now authorities are saying Drayton might be responsible for six other killings.

Investigators claim Drayton confessed to multiple murders.

“My body did this, not my mind,” Drayton told police, according to a police department source.

“I didn’t want to do this. My body made me do this.”

Drayton admitted to a pair of Connecticut killings, along with single slayings in the Bronx and Suffolk County. He also claimed responsibility for another murder in either Queens or Nassau County, and possibly a murder in California, according to the police source.

“I believe that there will be more victims,” New York City Police Department Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said at a press conference.   

Danueal Drayton was arrested on June 30 after an ex-girlfriend accused him of choking her.

CBS New York reported that Drayton had also been arrested five times in Connecticut, including one arrest for an alleged strangulation in 2011.

Police believe Drayton used the dating site Tinder as well as other social media sites to meet prospective victims. 

Drayton met Samantha Stewart online, and the couple dated briefly. He allegedly murdered Stewart in her own home on July 15.

Her father and brother found her body on July 17. She was naked, wrapped in a sheet, with her head in a pool of blood. Her teeth had been smashed out and her face was cut and bruised.

The medical examiner said she had been strangled to death.

New York police identified Drayton from security camera video and tracked him to California.

Drayton is currently in custody in California on $1.25 million bail for charges of attempted murder, forcible rape, sexual penetration by foreign object and false imprisonment. If he is convicted in California, he could get life in prison.

He has yet to be charged for his crimes in New York.

It is not clear if New York will try to extradite him.

“Our priority was to get a very dangerous person off the street,” Chief of Detectives Shea told the media. “The pressing need was to get this guy off the street before someone else gets hurts.”


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Chris Jasurek