A man wanted by New York City authorities for allegedly killing a Queens nurse was arrested in the Los Angeles area, authorities said Thursday.
Officers with LAPD's North Hollywood division arrested Danueal Drayton, 27, at about 2 p.m. on Tuesday, inmate records show.
His arrest came after a cross-country effort by NYPD detectives, who tracked him to a hotel in California where he was holding a woman captive, KTLA sister station WPIX reported. While LAPD handled his arrest, it is unclear where in the Los Angeles area he was found.
The New York Police Department's chief of detectives confirmed Drayton's arrest in a tweet, saying he was holding someone captive when authorities took him into custody.
When we captured Danuel Drayton in LA for the murder of Queens nurse Samantha Stewart, he had another victim held captive. He's off the streets but may have victimized others via online dating sites. Need help or have info? Call 800-577-TIPS/ sex crimes hotline 212-267-RAPE pic.twitter.com/iif7E9KuyA
— Chief Rodney Harrison (@NYPDDetectives) July 26, 2018
"Here, you have detectives flying across the country and potentially saving a life at a hotel," NYPD Chief Dermot Shea said, according to WPIX.
Drayton is accused of strangling a 29-year-old nurse named Samantha Stewart inside her Queens home on July 17, WPIX reported. That investigation led to authorities connecting Drayton to the rape of a woman in Brooklyn weeks earlier.
A police source told the New York Post it was a DNA match that tied the two crimes.
NYPD officials said Drayton would use dating websites to find the women he preyed on.
When Stewart's body was found by her brother and father, she was wrapped in a blanket and had been brutally beaten — her teeth missing as her head was in a pool of blood, according to the New York Daily News.
Man who allegedly strangled Queens nurse found in California holding woman against her will; police say used dating apps to meet victims https://t.co/OdDULFNy1q
— PIX11 News (@PIX11News) July 26, 2018
Family members told police, according to the newspaper, that they believe Stewart and Drayton had been dating and she wanted to break it off but he didn't.
Her 23-year-old brother, Dewayne Stewart, told the Daily News that a strange man answered her phone a day before her body was found. He now thinks Drayton was that same man.
Stewart said he met the man to get some car keys of Samantha's, which the man said she had left at the home. The man also said he had Samantha's phone by accident.
"I got there and he came downstairs he gave me the keys. I never met him before," Stewart told the Daily News. "He was kind of fidgety, but I wasn’t taking it that serious. He told me his name under his breath, but it was muffled. I can’t remember it. I didn’t think anything of it."