Stephen Paddock, the spree-killing mass shooter who terrorized the Route 91 Harvest Festival, leaving at least 59 dead and 527 injured, wired $100,000 to Marilou Danley in the Philippines just days before the October 1 attack, according to The Hill.
Described as Paddock’s girlfriend, Danley lived with him in his Mesquite, Nevada residence. NBC reports that it is yet to be determined what Paddock intended the money to be used for; whether he meant for her to use the money to take care of herself, her family, or for some other purpose remains to be seen.
Paddock’s brother, Eric Paddock, believes that the money is for Danley and her family. “One hundred thousand dollars isn’t that huge amount of money,” he said. “Condemn Steve for gambling. Steve took care of the people he loved. He made me and my family wealthy.”
According to Associated Press, Eric Paddock also told reporters that Paddock was a big spender at casinos, often receiving free rooms and meals. “He was a guy who had money,” he said of his multimillionaire brother. “He went on cruises and gambled.”
“As he was descending into hell…he wanted to take care of her,” Eric Paddock added. He believes that his brother may have “manipulated her so that she was far away from this and had money,” he said, positing the notion that her vacation to the Philippines at this time may have been Paddock’s idea.
Senior law officials discovered that Paddock had been gambling within the past few weeks with at least $160,000, as 16 Currency Transaction Reports, or CTRs, had been filed for Paddock within this time frame. The Treasury Department and the IRS require casinos to file the reports for “each transaction in currency involving cash-in and cash-out of more than $10,000 in a gaming day.”
A source close to NBC told the outlet that Paddock regularly frequented Caesars Entertainment properties in Las Vegas, possessing “the highest status” possible. The company website reveals that the coveted top status for gamblers is Seven Stars Tier Status; members are only allowed to join if extended an invitation and membership can be altered or cancelled at any time. Seven Star Members receive benefits such as free rooms, free gambling credits, and “signature experiences“.
Danley, who had been in Asia since September 25, was in the Philippines during the shooting now deemed to be the deadliest mass shooting incident in U.S. history. She was considered a person of interest initially, as her ID had been allegedly involved in the booking of the hotel, but after police discovered her whereabouts, she was cleared of all suspicions. She returns to the U.S. on Wednesday; officials believe she may be able to offer information that could shed some light on the situation.
South China Morning Post reported that Danley, originally of the Philippines, was from the U.S. by way of Australia. She lived on the Gold Coast, Queensland, for over a decade before moving to the United States approximately 20 years ago.