A girl is missing, and a blackjack dealer has been slashed.
The woman at the center of both incidents, Brenda Stokes, might have been a scorned lover bent on retaliating against her fiance, relatives of the girl said Wednesday.
Tejuana Reeves, mother of missing 10-year-old Jade Morris, said Stokes, 50, picked up Jade from her home about 5 p.m. Friday to go shopping. They were expected back a few hours later, Reeves said.
But about 9:30 p.m., authorities say, Stokes approached a Bellagio blackjack table with a razor blade in each hand and began slashing the face of Joyce Rhone, 44, a dealer in the casino.
Rhone survived the attack. Jade, meanwhile, was nowhere to be found.
Stokes was engaged to Jade's father, and Reeves suspects a love triangle developed involving him, Stokes and Rhone.
"There must have been something going on between that woman and (Jade's father), and Brenda found out about it," said Reeves, 41. "I never had a problem with Brenda. She had no reason to retaliate against me.
"I'm thinking she's done something to Jade to get back at him."
During Stokes' first court appearance Thursday, Jade's father shouted, "Where's my baby at?" before a bailiff escorted him into the hallway, according to The Associated Press.
Stokes told police she received harassing phone calls from Rhone about a betrayal that ended the pair's seven-year friendship, according to her Las Vegas arrest report. The report didn't delve into the nature of the betrayal.
After the slashing, Stokes told police she would have killed Rhone if casino security hadn't stopped her.
"Hell, yeah," Stokes told detectives investigating the Friday night razor blade attack inside the Strip casino.
"I would have whooped that ass. I would have killed her," Stokes said, according to the report. "I should have killed her."
Police said Stokes, also known as Brenda Wilson, was carrying razor blades in both hands when she approached Rhone's table and began slashing. She also was carrying a bag with three additional blades, police said.
Rhone, 44, was hospitalized with deep cuts to her face, including a gash from her ear to the edge of her mouth. She had three or four smaller cuts around her right eye, the report said.
Stokes told police that she recently had seen her doctor "due to feeling like she wanted to hurt someone" and that "sometimes people just snap," the report said. She wasn't taking her Xanax prescription the day of the attack.
Jade wasn't mentioned in the report, but Reeves said police have been heavily involved in the five days since the girl's disappearance.
Although it was initially a missing person case, Reeves said homicide detectives have taken over the investigation. Detectives took a DNA sample from Reeves earlier this week.
Jade's father had been living in Montana for about a year, she said, but Jade has known Stokes for almost four years and had a good relationship with the woman.
"She would come and take Jade shopping. On birthdays, Christmas, they would be hanging out," Reeves said. "It was not uncommon that she would come and get her."
Stokes told Reeves she was taking Jade to the Las Vegas Premium Outlets in the downtown area.
Reeves pleaded for anyone with information to come forward to police.
"If anyone has seen her face, just please call in," she said.
Jade is black, is 5 feet tall and weighs 70 pounds. She was wearing blue jeans, a blue shirt and a long brown jacket when she disappeared.
Stokes was driving a red, four-door 2007 Saab.
She is being held at the Clark County jail on charges of burglary, battery with a deadly weapon, battery with use of a deadly weapon with substantial bodily harm and mayhem.
Contact reporter Mike Blasky at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0283.