The body of Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock, the man behind the largest mass shooting in modern American history, has been cremated, his brother told the Review-Journal.
But the brother, Eric Paddock, said Wednesday that he has had a hard time over the past month getting Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg to deliver the remains to him in Orlando, Florida.
Paddock said Fudenberg told him Wednesday that he would not ship his brother’s ashes directly to him, so Paddock is coming to Las Vegas to get them.
“The coroner seems to think that there has to be some chain of custody because of the criminal investigation,” Paddock said. “But his remains have nothing to do with the investigation.”
Fudenberg told Paddock that he would try to ship the ashes to the Orlando Police Department and then have the department deliver the remains to him, Paddock said.
But that did not sit well with Paddock, who said he was frustrated over his discussions with the coroner and his office.
“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.”
Fudenberg had sent Stephen Paddock’s brain tissue to Stanford University School of Medicine for a neuropathological examination to look for possible disorders that might explain his erratic behavior. On Oct. 1, Paddock fired into a crowd of concertgoers with high-powered rifles from his 32nd-floor Mandalay Bay hotel room, leaving 58 people dead and more than 500 others injured.
Eric Paddock said his family did not object to the Stanford examination of his brother’s brain.
Fudenberg released a statement Wednesday afternoon.
“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.
“As you know, we recently released the cause and manner of death in this case.”
In December, Fudenberg said publicly that the 64-year-old shooter, a high-rolling video poker player on the Strip, died from a self-inflicted gunshot to the mouth and ruled his death a suicide.
Police have indicated that Paddock killed himself as officers closed in on his hotel room.
Eric Paddock said the family has not received any additional information, including an autopsy report.
“I have no knowledge of the autopsy report, neither the content nor the release date,” Paddock said.
Paddock told the Review-Journal that he does not intend to keep his brother’s remains at his home in Orlando.
“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,” Paddock said. “I don’t want someone to do something stupid.”