Robyn Gardner missing: Giordano to be detained for 60 more days

Gary V. Giordano

ORANJESTAD, Aruba (AP, ABC7) - An Aruban court has ordered Gary Giordano, who has been in custody since early April, to remain in jail while the investigation into the disappearance of a Frederick woman continues.

CNN reports that the court will keep Giordano detained while they continue to search for Robyn Gardner who disappeared during a vacation with Giordano in early August.

On Aug. 31, Giordano was ordered to spend at least 60 more days in custody as prosecutors try to build a case against him. Meanwhile, the woman's boyfriend says the two fought over her alcohol use.

The examining magistrate agreed to extend the detention of Gary V. Giordano at the request of prosecutors after a hearing inside the prison on the Dutch Caribbean island.

Gardner’s boyfriend Richard Forester said at the time the two fought over Gardner’s use of alcohol.

“We had our arguments, we had our fights,” Forester says, acknowledging Gardner and he had a turbulent relationship.

“I told her I thought she drank to much um but she was an adult and she was always with me so I thought I could protect,” her, Forester said.

He only learned she had gone to Aruba with Giordano after her disappearance.

Giordano has been in custody for more than two months since he told police that Gardner disappeared while they were snorkeling off the southern tip of the island. Police have repeatedly searched the area where she was supposedly last seen but have found no trace of her.

Investigators found Ambien in the hotel room Gardner shared with Giordano. She is prescribed the sleeping pills.

Giordano told investigators Gardner took one of the pills in the afternoon. Later that day, he maintains Gardner disappeared while snorkeling.

A combination of alcohol and a sleeping pill would make a person more vulnerable to a strong current.

A woman who dated Giordano says she stopped seeing him because he scared her. She wonders why Gardner allegedly took a sleeping pill in the middle of the day.

At the end of the 60 days, prosecutors were allowed ask the judge to extend the detention further or they can bring him to trial. Solicitor General Taco Stein said they are considering a range of possible charges, including murder, manslaughter, accidental death and insurance fraud.

Prosecutors have not disclosed any evidence against Giordano but have said he gave inconsistent accounts about the 35-year-old woman's disappearance. They also confirmed he was the beneficiary of a $1.5 million accidental death insurance policy he took out on her.

Stein said before the ruling that prosecutors provided the judge with the findings of the investigation so far but did not reveal all the evidence against Giordano.

"There are some things we still need to confront him with," Stein said.

He also said investigators still need to hear from witnesses who saw Gardner and Giordano on the island. The missing woman's mother, Andrea Colson, echoed that thought in a statement issued in response to the judge's ruling.

"We need to find our daughter," Colson said. "We pray that anyone who knows what happened that day will find the strength to contact authorities immediately."

The statement was released by the Natalee Holloway Resource Center, a Virginia-based missing persons group named for a young Alabama teen who disappeared on the final night of a high school graduation trip to Aruba in 2005.

Giordano's lawyer, Michael Lopez, said before the hearing that he believed his client would be released. Otherwise, he said, he would have no immediate comment on the ruling, but he has said previously that there is no evidence of any crime.

Giordano, who owns a temporary staffing business in the U.S., and Gardner, from Frederick, Maryland, arrived in Aruba on July 31 for what was supposed to be a five-day vacation. He was arrested three days after he reported her missing as he tried to leave the island. Her body has not been found.