After nearly four months of investigating the October 1 massacre of dozens of concertgoers in Las Vegas, officials have made a surprise announcement of the name of a suspect not previously reported.
According to a 300-page report released by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department this month, a new name has been added alongside murder suspect Stephen Paddock. The release of the document on Tuesday notes, “Until the investigation can rule otherwise, Marilou Danley and Douglas Haig have become persons of interest who may have conspired with Stephen Paddock to commit Murder with a Deadly Weapon,” Breaking911.com reported.
Marilou Danley is the killer’s girlfriend and has been reported before as a “person of interest.” But this is the first that the name Douglas Haig has been seen in official documents.
Officials were still acting cagy about the new suspect, though. On Tuesday, when reached by phone by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the department was not very forthcoming:
When contacted by phone Tuesday about the newly released name, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said only, “If you’ve got it, publish it.” He said he could not comment on a federal case.
The FBI also refused to make any additional statements about the new suspect. Haig has not issued any statement and could not be found since the issue of the report containing his name.
The new documentary evidence of a possible accomplice besides the girlfriend comports to rumors that officials had another person in mind for the crime.
As to Danley’s connection to the crime, it was revealed that her fingerprints were found on some of the bullet casings left in the hotel room after Paddock was killed. Some of the casings were from bullets fired from the room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino at concertgoers in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, killing 58 and wounding over 500 others.
Danley insists that the only reason her fingerprints were on the rounds is because she sometimes helped Paddock load and fire his firearms as he practiced or played with them. She continues to insist she played no part in the mass murder.
“The facts about Danley were among the details revealed when a U.S. District Court judge in Las Vegas unsealed more than 300 pages of search warrants and affidavits at the request of several media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times. The request was unopposed by prosecutors,” The Los Angeles Times reported early this month.
Other details released concerned records of Paddock’s purchases of firearms and related equipment, and details about the type of firearms he owned.
But along with these more boring tidbits was something that could lead to an expanded probe. Several emails were released that either show Paddock talking to himself from two different email addresses, or shows that he was communicating an accomplice.
The warrants released Friday also produced a puzzling email exchange that Paddock appeared to have with himself.
One instance where investigators identified two email account attached to him — [email protected] and [email protected] — an exchange began with “Try an ar before u buy. We have a huge selection. Located in the Las Vegas area.”
Later that day, an email was received back from [email protected] that read “we have a wide variety of optics and ammunition to try.”
Then Paddock sent an email to [email protected] that read: “for a thrill try out bumpfire ARs with 100 round magazine.”
In the affidavit, investigators said they believed the communications may have been related to the eventual attack. Authorities have said Paddock used a “bump stock,” a device that can make semiautomatic guns mimic the rapid fire of automatic weapons.
Still, the FBI seems to be very confused by the emails.
“Investigators have been unable to figure out why Stephen Paddock would be exchanging messages related to weapons that were utilized in the attack between two of his email accounts. Conversely, if the Target Account was not controlled by Stephen Paddock, investigators need to determine who was communicating with him about weapons that were used in the attack,” the warrant says.
Finally, the document dump shows that the killer had three cell phones in his Mandalay Bay room. Two were not password locked. Neither contained any helpful information, though. The third was password protected and investigators have not been able to unlock it.
[Note: This post was written by Warner Todd Huston]