A man feared to have attacked numerous women he met through dating apps, including a New York nurse he allegedly murdered, was arrested as he allegedly raped and tried to kill another woman in California, officials said.
Danueal Drayton, 27, was arrested in North Hollywood, California, in connection with the murder of 29-year-old Samantha Stewart of Jamaica, Queens, police said.
Stewart, a registered nurse at North Shore University Hospital, was found dead inside her home July 17, authorities said. She had suffered trauma to her neck and was believed to have been strangled, cops said.
Stewart had met Drayton on Tinder before she was killed.
Investigators tracked down Drayton, of New Haven, Connecticut, across the country. Police arrived at the scene while Drayton allegedly raped another woman in her home.
Drayton was also charged with attempting to kill that woman.
He was also wanted for an unrelated rape case in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn that occurred several weeks earlier.
Drayton is accused of using several dating websites to find his victims, and he allegedly claimed to be involved in as many as seven other murders, including three in New York.
No evidence corroborated Drayton’s alleged claim, but investigators are checking outside the city’s borders for cases similar to those he described, ABC reported.
Drayton was previously arrested for attacking an ex-girlfriend in Inwood Park in Nassau County, Long Island, on June 16.
He was charged with criminal trespass and strangulation, but released on his own recognizance.
“A judge has broad discretion when determining whether to set bail. Many factors are to be considered, including the views of other agencies involved within the process,” a spokesperson for the Nassau County courts said in a statement to WPIX-TV.
“In New York State, the purpose of bail is to ensure a defendant's return to court; Mr. Drayton did not have a prior criminal record and had not been indicted … It would have been impossible for the judge at that time to foresee the allegations that are presently unfolding and coming to light with regard to this defendant."
Drayton faces charges of attempted murder, rape, penetration with a foreign object and false imprisonment. He is expected to be extradited from Los Angeles to New York.
His bail has been set at $1.25 million in California.
In a statement, Tinder executives said, "These heinous acts of violence are heartbreaking. Our thoughts are with the victims' families and loved ones and we will continue to offer any assistance we can to law enforcement with its ongoing investigation."
The NYPD has asked that anyone who may have been victimized by Drayton to come forward and contact investigators immediately.
"Any individuals who are the victim of a sexual assault are urged to call the Rape Hotline 24/7 at 212-267-RAPE," officials said.