Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock’s body has been cremated, his brother told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The coroner confirmed on Thursday that his next of kin, brother Eric Paddock, had received the remains.
“I’m putting the ashes in a safe deposit box in a bank in order to make sure that there’s no hoopla around Steve’s remains,” he told the Review-Journal. “I don’t want someone to do something stupid.”
But Paddock said Wednesday that obtaining his brother’s remains has been a challenge.
He claimed Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg would not ship the ashes to his home in Orlando, Florida, and after a month of disputes, he planned to travel to Vegas to retrieve them.
“The coroner seems to think that there has to be some chain of custody because of the criminal investigation,” Paddock told the Review-Journal. “But his remains have nothing to do with the investigation.”
Fudenberg allegedly told Paddock he would try to ship the remains to the Orlando Police Department, who may then deliver the ashes to him, but that was not a sufficient solution, the brother said.
“The coroner originally told me that he had constructed a plan to have the FBI deliver the remains and this was not the truth,” Paddock said. “He told me he was going to do something, but he didn’t have it in place.”
Apart from his body, Fudenberg sent Stephen Paddock’s brain tissue to Stanford University School of Medicine to undergo neuropathological examination, which could look for possible disorders that may explain his erratic actions. Eric Paddock said the family did not object to the examination of his brother’s brain.
On October 1, the late gunman opened fire into a crowd of 22,000 concertgoers from a high-rise hotel suite at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. His attack, which is known as the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, killed 58 people and injured hundreds.
Following Eric Paddock’s criticism of the coroner, Fudenberg released a statement regarding the shooter’s remains on Wednesday.
“We are working to deliver the remains in a secure manner to ensure the suspect’s next of kin receives the remains,” he said. “Due to security concerns, we will not be discussing any details related to this.”
Fudenberg added that Las Vegas authorities released in December the cause and manner of Paddock’s death following his mass attack. According to the coroner’s autopsy report, the 64-year-old shooter died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the mouth; his death was ruled a suicide.
Paddock told the Review-Journal he and the family have not received any additional information about his brother’s death, including an autopsy report.
On Friday, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo told reporters that investigators have yet to uncover a motive in Stephen Paddock’s mass attack on concertgoers on the Las Vegas Strip. He is, however, believed to be the lone gunman and conspirator in the case, and his girlfriend, Marilou Danley, is not expected to face any charges.