Las Vegas shooter’s ‘companion’ was an Australian granny
Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock’s “regular companion” was an Australian woman who moved to the US 20 years ago to work on the casino strip, the government said on Tuesday.
Marilou Danley, 62, was initially said to be a “person of interest” but has since been cleared of any involvement in the shocking shooting that left 59 dead and more than 500 injured.
American authorities said she was out of the country at the time retired accountant Paddock, 64, unleashed his reign of terror on concertgoers from a hotel window.
Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop tweeted: “I understand US authorities have ruled out Australian Marilou Danley as a person of interest.”
“US authorities were in contact with us about Marilou Danley,” she told reporters. “There are reports her ID was used for booking the hotel or some such detail. Australia will support the US authorities in their investigation in whatever way we can, but we have not had contact with Marilou Danley directly.”
US reports and officials said she is either in the Philippines or Japan, although neither country was able to confirm her whereabouts.
Australian media said she was on holiday in the Philippines with three girlfriends.
News Corp Australia newspapers said the Filipino-Australian used to live on Queensland’s Gold Coast tourist strip and still has a sister there.
“I can’t comment at the moment, I can’t say anything,” her sister Liza Werner told The Daily Telegraph, which said she was a grandmother.
The newspaper cited friends as saying she lived on the Gold Coast for more than a decade and was married to an Australian man who has since died.
She moved to the US about 20 years ago and reportedly shared a house with Paddock in a new golf course development in the desert just outside Mesquite, Nevada, 130km from Las Vegas.
It was not clear if they were in a relationship or simply friends, with some reports referring to her as his “regular companion”.
Paddock, a high-stakes gambler with no criminal record, is said to have killed himself after mowing down concertgoers with bursts of automatic weapon fire from the 32nd-floor window of a swish Las Vegas hotel.
A motive is yet to be established.