LOS ANGELES (CBSMiami) – A man accused of rape and murder made his first appearance in a California court Monday and pleaded not guilty.
Police say the suspect used dating apps to find his victims.
Danueal Drayton appeared in a Los Angeles court for the first time Monday after refusing to leave his jail cell for his arraignment.
The 27-year-old faces attempted murder and rape charges.
Investigators say he was holding a woman captive in her apartment in North Hollywood last week after going on a date.
Investigators believe he came to California less than two weeks after he strangled and killed 29-year-old Samantha Stewart at her New York home.
“Right now I am just trying to cope with this terrible situation,” said Kenneth Stewart, Samantha’s father.
NYPD Detectives say Drayton used dating sites to prey on unsuspecting women:
“This individual uses dating websites to meet women and then victimize these women,” said Dermot Shea, NYPD Chief of Detectives.
In 2017, the FBI reported more than 15,000 people were victims of romance or confidence scams online, up from nearly 6,000 people in 2014.
“There’s very little verification, people say what they want about themselves,” said USA Today columnist Steven Petrow.
Drayton is also suspected of raping another woman in Brooklyn in June.
He’s currently being held on bail in Los Angeles and could face up to life in prison.
During his court appearance, Drayton laid on the group and asked for a doctor.
He has a history of violent crimes against women, including a strangulation case in New York involving his ex-girlfriend.