“It never occurred to me in any way whatsoever that he was planning violence against anyone,” Marilou Danley said in a statement read by her lawyer Matthew Lombard after her meeting with FBI and Las Vegas Police investigators in Los Angeles.
“I have not made a statement until now because I have been cooperating with the authorities,” she said. “I voluntarily flew back to America because I know that the FBI and Las Vegas Police Department wanted to talk to me. And I wanted to talk to them.”
Danley said she was out of the country on a trip paid for by Paddock.
She thought the trip was Paddock’s way “of breaking up with me,” she said.
“Anything I can do to help ease suffering and help in any way, I will do. Please respect my privacy and my family’s privacy,” she added.
Danley arrived in Los Angeles Tuesday night and met with investigators at the FBI’s headquarters in Los Angeles for several hours.
Danley, 62, was thousands of miles away in the Philippines when police first revealed her identity and said she might hold the key to why Paddock set up a sniper’s nest on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and rained death on a country music festival.
Before she met with investigators, ABC News reported she told her brother she had a “clear conscience” and wanted to clear her name.
“I called her up immediately and she said, ‘Relax, we shouldn’t worry about it. I’ll fix it. Do not panic. I have a clean conscience,'” her bother, Reynaldo Bustos, told ABC News.
Police named Danley a person of interest as they investigate the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Danley’s two sisters told Australia’s 7 News they believe Paddock surprised her with a solo ticket to the southeast Asian islands to keep her in the dark about his plan to kill.
“I know that she don’t know anything as well, like us. She was sent away. She was away so that she will be not there to interfere with what he’s planning,” one of the sisters said through tears, her face blurred to protect her identity.
The sisters said the sudden trip two weeks ago caught them all by surprise. They said Paddock also wired $127,000 to an overseas account for Danley.
“She didn’t even know that she’s going to the Philippines until Steve said, ‘Oh, Marilou, I found you a cheap ticket to the Philippines,’” the sister said.
“He sent her away so that he can plan what he’s planning without interruptions. In that sense, I thank him for sparing my sister’s life. But that won’t be to compensate the 59 people’s lives,” she said.
“No one can put the puzzles together. No one, except Marilou. Because Steve is not here to talk anymore. Only Marilou can maybe help,” the sister said.
The sisters told Channel 7 that Danley will be haunted forever by Paddock’s deadly rampage.
“She probably was even (more) shocked than us because she is more closer to him than us. You know, to be able to find out the person you love and live with can do such thing. And you thought you know the person yourself,” the sister who spoke for the two during the on-camera interview said.
“Marilou Danley is my sister. She is a good person and gentle soul. A mother, a grandmother, a sister, a friend,” she said.
The sisters to Channel 7 they believe Danley, who moved to the U.S. in 1989, knew that Paddock had guns, but not that many.
“He done this solely himself,” the sister said.
“Marilou seems madly in love with Steve, you know?” the sister said. “If Marilou was there…she would definitely stop something, whatever what he was planning.”
On Tuesday, Danley boarded a plane in Manila for what would be a non-stop, 13-hour trek to California.
FBI agents greeted her after Philippine Air Lines Flight 102 landed at Los Angeles International Airport around 7:30 p.m. local time.
A KNBC-TV reporter spotted Danley being rolled through the airport in a wheelchair while flanked by at least two uniformed police officers.
She was wanted for questioning after authorities announced she lived with Danley at Paddock’s condo in Mesquite, Nev. about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
Investigators have not shared a hint of Paddock’s motive.
Paddock’s brother Eric Paddock told reporters in Orlando that the $100,000 reportedly wired to Danley represented “the Steve I know.”
“Steve would have wanted to take care of Marilou,” he said, according to video published by NBC News.
“Condemn Steve for gambling. Steve took care of the people he loved. He made me and my family wealthy,” the brother said.
He echoed Danley’s sisters in suggesting Paddock may have “manipulated” his girlfriend “so that she was far away from this and had money.”
“As he was descending into hell … he wanted to take care of her,” Eric Paddock said.
Mass shooting at Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas
Speaking to The New York Times, Eric Paddock said Danley was one of the few people the killer seemed to love.
“She was probably one of the only people I’ve ever seen that he’d go out his way to do a little thing for,” the younger brother said. “He went out of his way to be nice to her. This is not something Steve does — go out of his way.”
The younger Paddock said his brother “expected people to wait on him for the most part.”
With Danley, he sometimes waited on her, Eric Paddock said.
“He would defer to her in the way that he wouldn’t to the rest of humanity. Even me,” Eric Paddock said.
Others have described a more turbulent relationship between the pair. Witnesses told the Los Angeles Times they’d seen Paddock regularly berating his girlfriend at a Starbucks in Nevada.
Paddock left behind an arsenal of 47 weapons at three locations, including two homes and his hotel room, but no immediate clues to suggest a motive, authorities have said.
Investigators are still trying to trace the large wire transfer and are checking reports Paddock had been gambling more than $10,000 per day before the massacre, a U.S. official briefed by law enforcement told The Associated Press.
Paddock took his own life moments after the senseless slaughter — before a team of police officers stormed his hideout at the Strip hotel.