Last year, 26-year-old Zynea Barney met Danueal Drayton, 27, on a dating app. Though the two bonded over his interest in her work with the disabled and his ability to fix cars, their relationship took a turn for the worse when Drayton revealed his true identity: a confessed serial killer.
It all started back in November of 2017 when Barney met Drayton on “Plenty of Fish.” At first, she thought he was “a cool guy” with a big vocabulary, but after six months of dating, Drayton revealed that he would be relocating to California. As a result, he requested to see her one last time.
The two met at Chipotle for lunch on June 13, but surprisingly, Drayton didn’t eat. However, he did ask her a few questions about her dating life, before the two drove around in her car.
“He was like, ‘Can I chill with you the whole day?’,” Barney told Daily News, adding that she said “No.” In turn, he asked her to take him to Inwood park in Long Island to get a bag of clothes he left to pick up later.
“I parked my car at the entrance of the park,” she said. “I put my car in drive, my seatbelt was still on, doors were still locked. Then I told him to go. He looked at me and said, ‘So we’re really not going to get back together? You don’t ever see a future.”
Despite dating for months, the two fell out in April when Barney found out he was still using the dating app to talk to other women. Although Barney tried to break it off, she told him they could remain friends. But, Drayton refused to take no for an answer.
As a result, on the night of the incident, Barney tried to break it off with him for good. But, when Drayton got out of the car, he stopped and searched through his pockets, acting as if he lost his phone charger.
“I gotta go,” she said. “Can you close the door?”
That’s when he jumped on her and began strangling her, threatening to kill her. As the two struggled, Barney managed to throw herself out of the car, catching the attention of three factory workers who intervened and phoned officials.
However, Drayton wasn’t arrested. Instead, he began stalking her. She said he kept calling her phone, popping up at her house and threatening to kill her son, before he slashed her tires and threatened to cut her brakes.
Several weeks later, Drayton was arrested for the assault and charged with strangulation and criminal trespass. But, he was released on July 5th and Barney was never informed. However, Drayton’s behavior would not end there.
According to reports, Drayton confessed to the murder of seven people, including Queens nurse Samantha Stewart. In fact, reports say the incident occurred just days after he was released for the assault on Barney. Officials say the two met on Tinder and he used her credit card to relocate to California.
However, just a few days later, officials were able to link Drayton to the murder, after they managed to link the suspect to a rape that occurred in Connecticut. As officials closed in on him, they caught him on the other side of the country holding another woman captive.
As a result, on Monday, Drayton pleaded not guilty to charges of rape and attempted murder of the 28-year-old California woman. However, Barney believes this could have all been avoided if he was never released.