Suspect in New York Nurse's Murder Found in California Allegedly Holding Another Woman Hostage
The suspect in the murder of a New York City nurse has been arrested in California, PEOPLE confirms.
A spokesperson for the New York Police Department tells PEOPLE Danueal Drayton was arrested in North Hollywood, California, on Thursday in connection to the murder of Samantha Stewart.
Drayton, 27, is currently in custody in Los Angeles, according to online jail records.
He was arrested by the Regional Fugitive Task Force and “had another victim held captive” with him, NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea told CBS 4 New York.
The woman was allegedly found tied up in Drayton’s room in his hotel, police told the New York Daily News.
He is awaiting extradition to New York City, the outlet reported.
Stewart, 29, was found unconscious by a relative at her family’s home in Springfield Gardens, Queens, on Tuesday night, an NYPD spokesperson previously told PEOPLE.
The nurse was found naked and wrapped in a blanket at the end of her bed with her teeth knocked out, according to News 4.
When first responders arrived, Stewart was unresponsive, the NYPD spokesperson said. She had suffered head and neck trauma and was later pronounced dead at the scene.
Stewart died of strangulation, according to the city medical examiner, PIX11 reports.
She was a nurse at Long Island Jewish Hospital, her family told News 4. Her father Kenneth Stewart said that when she did not return phone calls over a period of time, relatives assumed she was either busy with work or asleep.
“We thought she was sleeping because she works a night shift,” Kenneth Stewart told the station, adding, “When she’s sleeping, we try not to disturb her.”
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Kenneth Stewart told News 4 he believes a man his daughter was dating killed her, though he said he didn’t know the man’s name.
Stewart’s aunt, Ruby Dixon, described Stewart to ABC7 as “the shining star in this family.”
A spokesperson for the NYPD tells PEOPLE detectives believe Drayton may have other victims. Anyone with information is urged to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).
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