What to Know

  • Police say they have a person in custody in the killing of a 29-year-old Queens nurse found naked and strangled with her teeth knocked out[hhmc]

  • The suspect is a man Samantha Stewart recently started dating after meeting on a popular dating app, according to her family [hhmc]

  • The suspect was captured in California, where he may have killed another woman, authorities say [hhmc]

Police say they've arrested a suspect in the killing of a New York City nurse found naked and wrapped in a blanket in her bedroom last week, with her teeth knocked out.

The father of Samantha Stewart, Kenneth Stewart, tells News 4 he learned Wednesday night that authorities had captured the suspect, who had recently started dating Samantha after meeting on a popular dating app. He has not been identified by police.

NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot F. Shea also tweeted that the Regional Fugitive Task Forces apprehended the suspect "prior to possibly taking another life in California."

The New York Post reports a woman was found tied up in the suspect's hotel room there.

Kenneth Stewart said he was "absolutely shocked" to hear of a second possible murder.

"It's not even a week, he commit a gruesome murder like this and gone to another family to destroy, to tear apart," he said.

NYC Nurse Found Dead With Teeth Knocked OutNYC Nurse Found Dead With Teeth Knocked Out

Stewart, 29, was a registered nurse at Long Island Jewish Hospital and a beloved role model for her brothers and sister, her family said. Her brother discovered her unconscious with injuries to her neck and head inside her Springfield Gardens home around 9 p.m. last Tuesday, according to the NYPD.

The brother said he found her naked and wrapped in a blanket in a bedroom, according to Kenneth Stewart. He added that she appeared to have been strangled and that her tongue was sticking out and her teeth were knocked out.

These NYC Area Hospitals Got Lowest Grades in Safety ReportThese NYC Area Hospitals Got Lowest Grades in Safety Report

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She was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Kenneth said the family had never met the suspect.

"The last place they went, a restaurant in Brooklyn," he said. "My daughter paid with her credit card."

Surveillance video from the restaurant helped in identifying the suspected killer, the father said.

"She was tortured," said Kenneth Stewart. "Tied up and tortured for hours. I just imagine the pain she endure in the last moments of her life."

The devastated family wants to protect other women from the perils of online dating as they prepare to say goodbye to Samantha.

"What I would like to say to young women dating, you need to be careful," said aunt Ruby Dixon. "Need to let someone in their family know who they are dating."

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