Newly unsealed court documents revealed Friday just how involved Stephen Paddock’s girlfriend may have been in the Las Vegas massacre on Oct. 1 and how investigators have looked into her since.
What did the documents show?
According to the documents, Marilou Danley told investigators they would likely find her fingerprints on some of her boyfriend’s bullets because she sometimes helped him load his magazines. It’s not clear if Danley helped Paddock load the magazines he eventually brought into the Mandalay Bay Resort in preparation for the massacre.
The New York Times reported that unsealed search warrants reveal investigators honed their focus on Danley in the days after the massacre. Investigators sought access to Danley’s online accounts, including her email, Facebook and Instagram.
She has not been charged with a crime and she denies knowing about Paddock’s plan. The documents said the early stages of the investigation found no evidence of “criminal involvement” from Danley, but added investigators had not yet ruled out the possibility.
“She has been identified thus far 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,” the documents say, according to the Times.
More from the Times:
In an affidavit submitted as part of a search warrant application, an investigator said that access to Ms. Danley’s email account could “lead investigators to determine the full scope of Stephen Paddock’s plan and Marilou Danley’s possible involvement.”
In their requests for data from Instagram, investigators said they were seeking “evidence showing the possession, use, purchase or sale of firearms, firearms accessories, ammunition or explosives by Paddock.” They also sought information about Ms. Danley’s “state of mind as it relates to the crime under investigation” and the identities of anyone who communicated with her about what would amount to violations of federal weapons laws.
Also of note, investigators discovered that Danley deleted her Facebook account just hours after the attack. Just a little more than two hours after the attack, Danley made her Facebook account private. Two hours later, she permanently deleted her account. Paddock’s identity as the shooter wasn’t revealed until many, many hours later.
What else did the documents reveal?
According to the Times, investigators said Paddock went to extensive lengths to cover his tracks from authorities while he was planning the attack.
“Paddock planned the attack meticulously and took many methodical steps to avoid detection of his plot and to thwart the eventual law enforcement investigation that would follow,” investigators wrote.
The documents also revealed that Paddock bought many of the guns and items he used in the attack online. In addition, the documents said that Paddock may been treated for “unidentified medical conditions” in the time leading up to the attack. Danley said Paddock’s mental and physical health had deteriorated.
More than three months after the attack, investigators have yet to identify a motive.