Published August 24, 2011
ORANJESTAD, Aruba – The office of the Public Prosecutor of Aruba released Wednesday the last known photographs of missing American tourist Robyn Gardner and renewed pleas for more information about Gary V. Giordano, who is suspected in her disappearance.
The photographs show Gardner and Giordano leaving the Rum Reef Restaurant at Nanki on Aug. 2, the day Gardner disappeared. A photo of the rental car Giordano and Gardner used during their stay in Aruba was also released.
Despite a large-scale search, police have not yet located the remains of the missing 35-year-old Maryland woman or anything that might link Giordano to her disappearance, though he has been detained on suspicion of involvement. He has denied wrongdoing.
Giordano, a 50-year-old business owner from Gaithersburg, Md., traveled to Aruba with Gardner on July 31 and reported her missing two days later, saying she disappeared while the two were snorkeling.
Giordano reportedly purchased a $1.5 million accidental-death insurance policy on Gardner before heading out on the trip, and tried to collect on the plan just two days after Gardner went missing.
A person who provided information to authorities told the AP that Giordano bought the insurance specifically for his five-day getaway with Gardner. The person did not have authorization to publicly release the information and agreed to speak only on condition of anonymity.
Aruban authorities previously confirmed that Giordano had an insurance policy that covered the missing woman, but withheld details, including who the beneficiary is or whether Giordano tried to collect.
A judge ruled Monday there is enough evidence to hold Giordano until at least the end of August on suspicion of involvement in Gardner's presumed death.
Investigators are seeking to collect enough evidence by the next detention hearing to hold Giordano for another 60 days and proceed to trial. Among the material collected so far, Stein said, are "explicit" photos of Gardner that were stored on Giordano's camera, which has been confiscated.
Stein declined to provide details of the photos, but he said that partial images of Giordano appeared in some of them. Investigators are still trying to determine when the photos were taken.
Investigators have taken a DNA sample from Giordano and sent it to the Netherlands for processing. It will be used to compare with any evidence that might be collected, Stein said.
The FBI, which searched Giordano's home in an upscale Washington suburb, has been assisting Aruban authorities with the investigation and has put out a missing-person poster with three photographs of the 5-foot-4-inch blonde, including one showing a jungle-print design tattoo on her left shoulder. The poster urges anyone with information about Gardner to contact the FBI or the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
The exact nature of the relationship between Gardner, who had a boyfriend back home in Maryland, and Giordano, a twice-divorced father of three sons, isn't clear, but the prosecutor's office has said they stayed in a room together at a Marriott hotel in Aruba. Gardner, who is from Frederick, Md., had recently been laid off from her job as a patient care coordinator at a dental office.
Anyone who has seen Giordano and can give information on him, his contacts and places he and Gardner visited during their stay in Aruba is urged to contact the Aruban authorities at 011-297-582-0695.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.