Conn. Man Accused of Murdering N.Y. Nurse on Tinder Date, Using Her Credit Card to Buy Plane Ticket

Danueal Drayton faces charges of murder, sexual misconduct, identity theft and grand larceny in the strangulation death of 29-year-old nurse Samantha Stewart back in 2018


The man who prosecutors say is responsible for the murder of a New York City nurse he met on Tinder four years ago has been formally indicted by a grand jury in New York.

Danueal Drayton, 31, was arraigned Friday in Queens Supreme Court, after spending four years in custody in Los Angeles for an unrelated crime.

According to a press release issued by the Queens District Attorney's Office, Drayton's 18-count indictment includes charges of murder, sexual misconduct, identity theft and grand larceny, among other crimes in connection with the strangulation death of 29-year-old Samantha Stewart back in 2018.


According to reports, Drayton and Stewart met on the dating app Tinder. In July 2018, the pair went on a date before making their way back to her Springfield Garden, Queens, home, where prosecutors allege Drayton beat and strangled the victim "and then engaged in sexual conduct with the dead body."

Stewart's brother found her naked body wrapped in a blanket in the corner of her bedroom the following day. Her teeth had been knocked out.

"This family deserves justice," Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a press release Friday. "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," Katz added. "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."

Prosecutors say Drayton — who had a lengthy criminal history prior to Stewart's murder, which included jail time for strangulation and harassment in his home state of Connecticut, per The New York Times — fled to California shortly after her death. He allegedly stole the victim's credit cards and used one to purchase a flight to Los Angeles.

Days later, he was arrested by NYPD's Fugitive Task Force at a North Hollywood hotel.

At the time of his arrest, Drayton was found to be holding a woman hostage, who authorities allege he had beaten and raped.

Drayton had been in police custody on those rape charges before being extradited back to New York, last week.

RELATED VIDEO: N.Y.C. Nurse's Naked Body Found in Bed by Family Member After She Was Strangled to Death

PEOPLE previously reported that Drayton had also confessed to the slayings of six other people, in addition to the 2018 murder of Stewart. Investigators said at the time that they believed he used dating apps to lure his victims.

Drayton is scheduled to appear back in court on May 23. If convicted, he could face 25 years to life in prison.

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