Stephen Paddock, the author of the Las Vegas shooting that killed 59 people and wounded over 500, has also left collateral victims more than 12,000 kilometers away – relatives of his Filipino girlfriend in a village south of Manila.
Days before October 1st Paddock unloaded his rifle against those attending a country music concert, Marilou Danley, 62, an Australian from a previous marriage, visited his brother Reynaldo Bustos, 66, at the barangay Langkaan in Cavite.
Hours after the massacre the photograph of Marilou, sought by the FBI, was spread by televisions and the internet. Her brother called her as she was still in the Philippines, the women assured him that she had “a clear conscience,” according to an interview Reynaldo gave to the American network ABC.
Overcome by pressure, stress and media attention after the first and only interview, Marilou’s brother left the family home in Cavite without giving explanations, leaving behind his wife and eight children in a situation of precariousness and despair.
“He was overwhelmed and traumatized by the situation, and that’s why he left,” explains 20-year-old Miguel Bustos, son of Reynaldo, who together with his brothers have been trying for some days to find the whereabouts of the family’s patriarch.
A healer by profession, Reynaldo treated his patients with massages and prayers from 150 pesos (about 2.5 euros, 3 dollars) per session, making him the main bread winner of this large family that lives in a cluster of only 25 square meters.
When the shooting occurred, Marilou Danley was out of the US. She had traveled to the Philippines 15 days earlier because Paddock bought her a ticket to visit family there for a month.
After returning to her native country she received a Paddok transfer in the Philippine account worth $ 100,000, supposedly to buy a house.
His relatives said they had not received a single dollar from the woman when she visited them and noted that “she did not bring home gifts, not even some chocolates,” another 22-year-old niece, Mary Jane, told Efe.
This young woman defines the situation of the family as “desperate”, since all survive with 200 pesos a day (about 3.3 euros, $ 4) having a rickety stand of bananas in front of the door of their home and another for making (duck embryos boiled inside the egg) at the village market.
To make matters worse, after the fright of the patriarch his wife, Myla, has fallen ill and another son was fired from work for being absent to look for Reynaldo, reports Mary Jane.
“It’s like a nightmare. I wish this tragedy had not happened and we could continue our normal life, “laments the young woman, the mother of a baby whom she holds naked in front of the family chamizo.
Meanwhile, his Aunt Marilou remains in Los Angeles, where she returned to be interviewed by FBI agents.
After several interrogations, the authorities concluded that the woman was unaware of Paddock’s sinister plans, but she was still subject to a surveillance system and the Department of Transportation will monitor her movements for a while.
In her only public statement, Marilou said that Stephen Paddock was “a kind, caring and quiet man” and confessed to feeling “devastated” by the hundreds of families affected.
“It never occurred to me in any way that he was planning a violent act against anyone,” she said, while it remains unclear why a retired accountant accumulated an arsenal in his hotel room and shoot indiscriminately at the crowd .