The victims of suspected serial killer Danueal Drayton swiped right before things went horribly wrong.
Drayton, already wanted for the barbaric murder of a Queens nurse inside her home, confessed to six other slayings after his arrest in a North Hollywood, Calif., apartment where he raped and assaulted a female hostage, sources told the Daily News.
“My body did this, not my mind,” a police source quoted Drayton as telling investigators. “I didn’t want to do this. My body made me do this.”
NYPD investigators tracked the suspect cross-country after the July 17 strangling of Samantha Stewart, 29, inside her Springfield Gardens apartment after the pair met via the Tinder dating app. Cops said Drayton was a sexual predator who used Tinder and other social media sites to meet his looking-for-love victims.
Drayton admitted to a pair of Connecticut killings, along with single slayings in the Bronx and Suffolk County. He also claimed responsibility for another murder in either Queens or Nassau County, and there was a possibility of another California homicide, the police source said. It was unclear if he actually committed the crimes or was just rambling.
“I believe that there will be more victims,” said NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea, noting the suspect’s long and violent rap sheet.
The suspected killer purchased a one-way ticket to California shortly after the Stewart death — and lined up his next victim once on the West Coast, arranging a date with her. The police source said cops traced Drayton’s white Ford from Stewart’s home to a Kennedy Airport parking lot, where they found the victim’s AAA card and the suspect’s release papers from a Nassau County choking arrest last month.
Drayton, 27, remained behind bars Friday on $1.25 million bail on charges of attempted murder, forcible rape, sexual penetration by foreign object and false imprisonment, according to a Los Angeles County court complaint. His rap sheet includes a June 30 arrest for choking his girlfriend with both hands inside her parked car on Long Island, and a 2011 strangulation bust in Connecticut — one of five arrests in the New Haven man’s home state.
Authorities said Drayton refused to board a jailhouse bus for a Friday court appearance, with his hearing rescheduled for Monday.
“I will fly over there and volunteer to take him out of the cell,” said Kenneth Stewart, 59, father of the slain Samantha. “A monster, pure evil … This monster gets out and has the nerve to fly to L.A. to commit another crime, to destroy another family.”
Samantha Stewart’s body was found with a pool of blood around her head and all of her teeth knocked out.The cops who collared Drayton likely saved the life of his California captive, who was rescued from her home on July 23 after the two met for a date that turned into a torture session, authorities said. He faces up to life in prison if convicted on the California charges.
“Our priority was to get a very dangerous person off the street,” said Shea. “The pressing need was to get this guy off the street before someone else gets hurts.”
NYPD detectives probing the Stewart slaying used facial recognition technology to link her killing to the Park Slope rape of a 23-year-old woman who also answered the suspect’s Tinder profile. The woman told police that Drayton choked her unconscious on June 17 and she awoke to find him trying to rape her, sources said. She snapped a picture of Drayton at a pizzeria prior to the sexual assault.
Drayton was sprung without bail at a July 5 hearing in Nassau County after his arrest for the Inwood Park choking of his girlfriend after an argument. Judge Eric Prager, feeling Drayton posed no flight risk, ignored the county district attorney’s call to hold him on $7,500 bail. “It would have been impossible for the judge at that time to foresee the allegations that are presently unfolding and coming to light,” said a statement from a Nassau Court spokesman.
An angry Kenneth Stewart disagreed: “This guy walked out of jail on the 5th of July. My daughter came back from Jamaica on the 3rd of July. How could they miss a red flag like that?”
SOURCE: ROCCO PARASCANDOLA, LARRY MCSHANE and ELLEN MOYNIHAN
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS