A Connecticut man was charged Friday with killing a New York nurse he met on Tinder.
Danueal Drayton, 31, is charged with murder, sexual misconduct, grand larceny and other crimes in the "shocking strangulation death" of Samantha Stewart, 29, after a date in 2019, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.
The 18-count indictment said Stewart met Drayton on Tinder. The pair went on a date and then back to her apartment, where, authorities say, Drayton beat and strangled Stewart and engaged "in sexual conduct with the dead body."
The next day, Stewart's brother found her body, according to the district attorney's office. Drayton is accused of taking her credit cards and using one to pay for a flight to California. He was arrested there within a week and extradited to New York last week.
When Stewart was killed, Drayton was free on $2,000 bail while awaiting trial in another case in Nassau County on Long Island, The New York Times reported. He had been charged with choking a girlfriend who was trying to end their relationship, The Times reported, citing court records.
The judge who released Drayton on Long Island did not know he had a criminal record in Connecticut dating to at least 2011, which may have affected the decision to release him, according to The Times.
“This family deserves justice. This was a brutal crime that makes every person using a dating app fearful," Katz said in a statement. "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."
Drayton, of New Haven, Connecticut, is due in court May 23. Information about who is representing him was not immediately available Sunday.
He faces up to 25 years to life in prison if he is convicted.