(AP/ABC7) - Gary Giordano is free to leave Aruba, at least for now. The Gaithersburg man was released from Aruban jail Tuesday evening, but remains a suspect in his travel companion's death.
The only suspect in Robyn Gardner’s August disappearance left the prison in a small SUV driven by his Aruban attorney Chris Lejueze. His attorney Jose Baez was also in the vehicle which was swarmed by US and local media – blocking the car for a few tense moments to peer inside, according to a reporter for ABC's Good Morning America.
The 50-year-old Maryland businessman spent more than 100 days behind bars. He's never been charged in the case.
"Throughout the entire process it's been a fishing expedition, and it's time for them to cut bait,” Jose Baez, Giordano’s attorney, told Good Morning America.
“You build a case around evidence. You don't start a case and then go looking for evidence,” Baez said.
Suspect heads to Maryland on Wednesday
Giordano will leave the island Wednesday for the U.S., before the Aruban High Court convenes at 10 a.m. The judges could decide to extend his detention another 30 days, in which case they would likely seek to extradite him.
A judge previously ruled authorities had failed to justify continuing to hold him, which brought about Giordano's release.
Solicitor General Taco Stein says Aruban authorities will immediately seek the extradition of Gary Giordano if an appeal's court rules in the prosecution's favor and extends his pretrial detention. Earlier, prosecutors said they might wait to gather more evidence before seeking extradition.
A judge ruled last week that prosecutors lacked enough evidence to keep holding Giordano as a suspect in the disappearance and presumed death of his travel companion, Robyn Gardner in August. Giordano denies wrongdoing. Stein spoke Tuesday, hours before the American's scheduled release.
Gardner family "very disappointed"
A cousin of Gardner says the family is "very disappointed" that they are "no closer to finding out what happened" to her even as suspect in her death was expected to be released from jail.
The cousin, Kelly Reed, said the family made the statement Tuesday in response to the anticipated release in Aruba of Giordano, a businessman from Gaithersburg.
Reed wrote that the family trusts that authorities will "continue their fervent efforts" to investigate Gardner's disappearance.
Giordano looking forward to family time
Jose Baez, Giordano's lawyer, said Wednesday on ABC's "Good Morning America" that Gary Giordano wants to spend time with this children and plans on trying to "reassemble his life." ABC filmed Giordano making a call to his family from a hotel room after his release Tuesday night.
Giordano denies any wrongdoing in the disappearance of Robyn Gardner. A judge ordered his release after ruling prosecutors didn't have enough evidence to justify holding him longer.
An appeals court is expected to decide Wednesday whether prosecutors can put him back in jail in pretrial detention.