Samantha Stewart was a registered nurse and beloved daughter, and the unfortunate alleged victim of Danueal Drayton. The situation unfolded after Steward “swiped right” on his Tinder profile. They met for a few dates before Drayton allegedly tortured and killed her in her Queens home. Her body was discovered on July 17, when her teenage brother found her wrapped in a blanket.
By that time, Drayton had allegedly already committed another rape and fled to California. DNA evidence left at the scene of Samantha’s murder connected Danueal to the rape case in Brooklyn. The NYPD Regional Fugitive Task Force then began looking for him on the opposite coast.
The 27-year-old criminal was caught on the other side of the country in North Hollywood. The task force tracked him to a hotel, but that wasn’t the only thing they found in his room. Another woman, also located through Tinder, was being held hostage inside. He was taken into custody for the murder of Samantha Stewart, but possible links to other crimes have come to light since his arrest.
According to Pix11, Samantha could have been the seventh in a string of murders allegedly committed by Danueal Drayton. Police are now investigating the possibility that Drayton has killed before, after his confession that he killed several other women. This behavior would make him a serial killer, someone who commits multiple murders with no apparent motive.
Once in custody, Danueal began rambling. He told investigators that he did not want to hurt the women.
“My body did this, not my mind, I didn’t want to do this. My body made me do this,” he allegedly said.
He then confessed to several other murders, including a pair of murders in Connecticut. Drayton also claimed responsibility for killings in Suffolk County and the Bronx, and possibly another Queens murder. Police have also speculated that he was behind a murder in California.
Drayton was scheduled to answer for his crimes on Friday, but did not appear before the court. According to reports, he refused to leave his cell and attend the hearing. Kenneth Stewart, the father of victim Samantha Stewart, has been vocal in his anger toward the man who killed his daughter, calling him “pure evil.”
“I will fly over there and volunteer to take him out of the cell,” he said, according to NY Daily News. “This monster gets out and has the nerve to fly to L.A. to commit another crime, to destroy another family.”