Prosecutors said a 31-year-old Connecticut man killed a woman he met on a dating app before having sex with her corpse. The accused, identified as Danueal Drayton, also allegedly purchased a plane ticket to California with the deceased woman’s credit card, New York Post reported.
Drayton met the victim Samantha Stewart on the Tinder dating app. The accused man allegedly strangled Stewart at her Queens residence after they went on a date in 2018. The 31-year-old appeared before a Queens Supreme Court on Friday after he was extradited from Los Angeles. He faces an 18-count indictment.
“This was a brutal crime that makes every person using a dating app fearful,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said after his arraignment. “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.”
Prosecutors allege Drayton had sex with Stewart’s corpse after killing her. He also left her lifeless body in her bedroom before fleeing with her credit cards, the indictment stated. The accused allegedly used one of those credit cards to purchase a plane ticket to Los Angeles.
Authorities eventually arrested the suspect at a hotel in North Hollywood a week after the killing. He was allegedly holding a woman hostage at the hotel when he was arrested.
Stewart’s brothers found her body after Drayton took off to Los Angeles. Her relatives told the New York Post that she was found with missing teeth and her tongue out of her mouth.
“This family deserves justice,” Katz said. “Now back in our custody, this defendant will be held to account for his alleged actions.”
Besides killing Stewart, Drayton also confessed to murdering six other people, PEOPLE reported. At the time, investigators said they believed he used dating apps to establish contact with his victims. His next court appearance is scheduled for May 23.
Drayton’s charges include murder in the second degree, grand larceny in the fourth degree, petit larceny, sexual misconduct, identity theft in the second and third degree, unlawful possession of personal identification information in the third degree and criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree.