Police sources tell NY1 Danueal Drayton allegedly matched with a Brooklyn woman on Tinder on June 17.
The woman told investigators they met at a Dunkin Donuts on Third Avenue in Gowanus. She says they later bought wine and went to an office in Sheepshead Bay, where the suspect allegedly choked her, causing her to pass out. The woman told detectives when she woke up, she found Drayton sexually assaulting her, an ordeal that went on for hours.
Police say that incident bears similiarities to the strangulation death of Samantha Stewart in Queens in July. In that case, the 31-year-old nurse was found murdered, bound in her home after relatives hadn’t heard from her in days.
“As the investigation went forward, they came together,” said NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea. “Evidence names started to gel, and we learned we were looking for one person for both crimes.”
With the suspect’s name and photo and the electronic trail he left behind, Shea says his investigators began working backwards.
“You start to see some similarities of meeting people, dating websites and aggression towards women,” Shea said.
Special victims detectives discovered a June 30 arrest in Nassau County, stemming from an incident that happened one day before the rape in Sheepshead Bay.
According to five criminal complaints obtained by NY1, Drayton got into an argument with his ex-girlfriend and strangled her inside a park in Nassau County. He later slashed the woman’s tires and sent this threatening message on Facebook: “This is just the beginning, first your tires then I cut your break line, then I set your car on fire or blow it up.”
Despite being arrested for strangulation, aggravated harassment, criminal trespass and criminal mischief, a judge let him go.
After Stewart’s murder, police pored over Drayton’s digital profile, leading them to a motel in the Los Angeles area, where they knocked down the door.
“We identified a third victim who was held at the motel against her will,” Shea said.
Because of that, Shea believes there may be more victims yet to come forward.