(LAS VEGAS) — Investigators are hoping the Las Vegas shooter’s girlfriend may hold the key to unraveling the mystery of the motive that drove 64-year-old Stephen Paddock to open fire on a crowd of concertgoers from the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas on Sunday night.
Filipino-born Marilou Danley, 62, lived with Paddock at his home in a Mesquite retirement community where authorities searching the residence found a cache of 19 additional weapons.
Las Vegas police say she was in Asia at the time of the shooting but is expected to return to the U.S. this week where authorities are eager to find out what, if anything, she knew about Paddock’s plans.
Travel records obtained by ABC News show that Danley, who travels on an Australian passport, arrived in Manila on September 15, two weeks before the shooting. She flew to Hong Kong on September 22 and then returned to Manila three days later, on September 25.
After first appearing to dismiss the possibility of her involvement in any way, officials have now made it clear that she remains part of the investigation, especially after the discovery of weapons, ammunition and explosives at the home she shared with Paddock in Mesquite.
“We are continuing the investigation into that female,” said Sheriff Joseph Lombardo, chief of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. “There are several questions that need to be answered … but she is currently out of the country. We are making arrangements to contact her upon her return.”
In a press conference on Tuesday, Sheriff Lombardo confirmed that Danley is a person of interest.
According to Steve Gomez, a former FBI agent and ABC News consultant, Danley could be a vital source of intelligence.
“She has probably the best insight into the mind of Paddock prior to him killing all these people,” Gomez said. “So they definitely want to hear from her what was going on in his life.”
Questions from investigators, Gomez said, will likely focus on the arsenal Paddock assembled to carry out the attack.
“How did he accumulate all of those weapons?” Gomez said. “Did she see him operating these weapons, training, working on these weapons? Did she know where he obtained these weapons? Were there associates that were obtaining the weapon for him? … Those are very important questions to answer.”
According to law enforcement sources, Paddock has sent tens of thousands of dollars to someone in the Philippines in recent months. Donald Judy, who was Paddock’s neighbor in Florida from 2013 to 2015, said Paddock told him that he was doing real estate speculation in Southeast Asia.
Danley was born in the Philippines, but according to multiple Australian news outlets, she lived in Queensland until 2003, when she moved to Nevada with her husband, Geary Danley, who she married in Las Vegas in 1990. The couple had a daughter and a granddaughter but filed for divorce in 2015.
According to Dionne Waltrip, one of Geary’s children, her father had no knowledge of Danley’s relationship with Paddock. She described Danley as a “wonderful” person who would never have been involved in such a plot.
“She is a good and gentle person,” Waltrip said. “I know she has to be devastated by what has happened.”
At the time of her divorce, she listed a downtown Reno unit at the Montage luxury condominium as her address. Stephen Paddock owned the unit.
Like Paddock, Danley appears to have been a keen gambler. A onetime high-limit hostess for a club within the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno, Danley posted several photos from Las Vegas gambling tournaments, including one from a stay at Mandalay Bay in 2014.
Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.