Marilou Danley, Girlfriend of Casino Gunman, Returns to U.S.
“Person of interest” is a vague term that does not necessarily indicate that the person is suspected of committing a crime. Ms. Danley has not been charged with any crime.
Federal agents met Ms. Danley at her plane at Los Angeles International Airport on Tuesday night, according to a law enforcement official. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak to the news media, said Ms. Danley was not under arrest.
Television crews waited for Ms. Danley to emerge from customs at the international terminal. Hours after her flight landed, an airport police officer said she had been led out through a side exit after going through customs. NBC News posted a brief video that it said showed Ms. Danley in a wheelchair, being escorted by security officers.
Family members and former neighbors were shocked to see Ms. Danley’s name surface in connection with the shooting on news reports, as the police sought to find her hours after Mr. Paddock killed himself in his hotel room.
“She’s probably one of the most happy, outgoing, full-of-life people I’ve ever known,” said Dionne Waltrip, Ms. Danley’s former stepdaughter, who lives outside Fayetteville, Ark. “Everyone who has ever met her likes her.”
Ms. Waltrip said her father, Geary Danley, traveled the world as an auditor for FedEx and met his future wife overseas.
Ms. Danley has ties to the Philippines, and several news reports said she was born there. She spent many years in Australia, where news reports said she was married, and is an Australian citizen.
After meeting Mr. Danley, she moved to Memphis. The couple wed in 1990 and their marriage lasted 25 years.
Ms. Danley worked retail jobs, selling mostly clothing and jewelry. Both she and Mr. Danley had children from prior relationships. Ms. Waltrip was 20 when the couple got together; Ms. Danley has a daughter who now lives in California. The couple moved to Nevada when they retired.
“They were extremely happy,” Ms. Waltrip said. “They loved each other very much.”
But before the marriage ended, Ms. Danley met Mr. Paddock. She was working at a casino and he was a high-limit player, casino employees said. She worked there from 2010 to 2013, according to her LinkedIn account.
John Weinreich, an executive casino host at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa at the time, said he believed that Ms. Danley frequently attended to Mr. Paddock, serving him food and pointing out which machines might be ripe for a payout, and eventually became his regular host.
“Then she was just gone one day,” he said. “I asked some fellow workers and they said she went off with Stephen.”
She and Mr. Danley divorced in 2015. On the divorce papers, she listed her address as a condominium in Reno owned by Mr. Paddock.
At the hilltop subdivision where the Danleys lived in Sparks, Nev., before the divorce, neighbors described Ms. Danley as a chatty extrovert who hosted cookouts and brought copious amounts of Filipino food to the semiannual block parties.
“She was always cooking,” said Christine Riley, 46, a dietitian who lived a few doors down from Ms. Danley’s former residence.
But when Ms. Danley was living with Mr. Paddock in a Reno subdivision, the couple were not viewed as sociable. “I thought maybe he was sick or something, because they were always in the house and the shades were always drawn shut,” said Susan Page, a retired financial analyst who was the couple’s next-door neighbor.
Ms. Page said she occasionally saw Mr. Paddock working on an older sport utility vehicle that seemed to be Ms. Danley’s car, and other neighbors said he had a large safe in the garage.
“They weren’t outgoing,” she said. “They didn’t participate in anything. Everybody around here, they go over to each other’s houses, they have a drink and they chitchat.”
Ms. Page added, “It wasn’t that they were unfriendly, they just didn’t socialize.”
On her own, Ms. Danley could be friendly. Connie Allred, a 68-year-old retired dental receptionist, occasionally attended Zumba classes with Ms. Danley at the subdivision’s clubhouse. She described Ms. Danley as a warm “world traveler” who went abroad several times a year and visited family in the Philippines and Los Angeles.
“She was always gone,” Ms. Allred said. “She’s a hard one to keep track of. We’d be in Zumba and then all of a sudden she would say, ‘I’m leaving for a couple months,’ and then she’d be back and then she’s traveling other places.”
Philippine immigration officials said Ms. Danley left Manila on Sept. 22 for a trip to Hong Kong and returned on Sept. 25.
Eric Paddock, Mr. Paddock’s youngest brother, said his brother loved Ms. Danley and doted on her. For her part, he said, Ms. Danley made compromises like doing without perfume, hair spray and bubble baths in order to not set off his allergies. Though his brother was a multimillionaire, he said, he did not believe she was with him because he had money.
Some people who knew Mr. Paddock said he could take on an imperious, exacting demeanor. But with Ms. Danley, he was different, Eric Paddock said.
“She was probably one of the only people I’ve ever seen that he’d go out of his way to do a little thing for,” he said. “He went out of his way to be nice to her. This is not something Steve does — go out of his way.”
He added: “Steve expected people to wait on him for the most part. But he waited on her sometimes. He would do what she wanted to do. He would defer to her in the way that he wouldn’t to the rest of humanity. Even me.”