Court documents unsealed on Friday revealed previously unknown information about the Las Vegas massacre that occurred on October 1, 2017, including starling developments regarding Stephen Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley.
At the request of several news outlets, which prosecutors did not oppose, a U.S. District Court judge in Las Vegas made available to the public more than 300 pages of search warrants and affidavits surrounding the Las Vegas massacre. Within those pages were details about Danley’s involvement with Paddock, including finding her fingerprints on his ammo magazines and evidence of a conversation regarding a wire transfer.
Danley, 62, was identified early on “as the most likely person who aided or abetted Stephen Paddock based on her informing law enforcement that her fingerprints would likely be found on the ammunition used during the attack,” according to an affidavit. She also admitted to investigators that she would sometimes assist Paddock in loading his magazines.
Additionally, investigators also found evidence of two email accounts that Paddock had access to engaging in a conversation regarding guns and ammunition. Officials are confused by the exchange.
“Investigators have been unable to figure out why Stephen Paddock would be exchanging messages related to weapons that were utilized in the attack between two of his email accounts. Conversely, if the Target Account was not controlled by Stephen Paddock, investigators need to determine who was communicating with him about weapons that were used in the attack,” according to a warrant.
Although the documents did not completely rule out all suspicion against her and the possibility of any involvement on that fateful day, officials dropped Danley as a “person of interest” early on in the investigation.
The Las Vegas massacre, which took place at the Route 91 Harvest Festival and the Mandalay Bay, left 58 people dead, including Paddock. Danley was located several hours later in the Philippines, where she had been visiting friends and family. She would later fly back to the U.S. to be questioned by authorities and release a statement through her lawyer regarding her feelings and involvement on the horrors perpetrated by her boyfriend.
“I am devastated by the deaths and injuries that have occurred, and my prayers go out to the victims and their families and all those who have been hurt by these awful events,” she said in her statement. “A little more than two weeks ago, Stephen told me he found a cheap ticket for me to the Philippines and that he wanted me to take a trip home to see my family. While there, he wired me money, which he said was for me to buy a house for me and my family.”
Danley said she accepted the money, fearful that it was his way of breaking up with her. What happened next, she said, shocked her.
“I knew Stephen Paddock as a kind, caring, quiet man. I loved him and hoped for a quiet future together with him. He never said anything to me or took any action that I was aware of that I understood in any way to be a warning that something horrible like this was going to happen.”
Paddock and Danley appeared to have a tumultuous relationship; according to employees at the Starbucks they frequented, Paddock treated Danley poorly.
“He would glare down at her and say — with a mean attitude — ‘You don’t need my casino card for this. I’m paying for your drink, just like I’m paying for you.’ Then she would softly say, ‘OK’ and step back behind him. He was so rude to her in front of us,” Starbucks branch supervisor, Esperanza Mendoza, told reporters.
Danley’s attorneys did not respond to inquests for comments.