ARUBA — Earlier this month another beautiful blonde woman from the U.S. was reported missing, this time while snorkeling in Aruba with a man who allegedly has a troubled past; the two were staying in the same resort town where teenager Natalee Holloway vanished in 2005.
There have been repeated reports that Robyn Gardner, 35, of Frederick, Maryland was allegedly having an affair with a secret online lover who she reportedly met up with in Aruba.
That man, 50-year-old Gary Giordano, is now behind bars on the Caribbean island. His story was that she vanished while they were snorkeling in Aruba’s Baby Beach.
HLN’s Dr. Drew said during an August 10 show that he and his guests would be taking a closer look at whether or not Robyn was having an online affair. He also said Giordano is someone Robyn met on a dating website and told her live-in boyfriend, Richard Forester, that Giordano is gay friend who was accompanying her on a family vacation.
Richard was the first guest on Dr. Drew’s show. When asked what he fears happened to Robyn Richard said, “I fear something awful has happened. She’s been missing now for eight days. Based on what I’m hearing about the man she was there with, it makes me scared, lost, sad, angry …”
Dr. Drew asked if this is something completely out of character for Robyn – to run off with someone she met online. He asked if she’s had any mental health issues or if there were warning signs.
Richard said he wishes he knew what happened and that none of that is true. This was completely unexpected. “We were in the process of looking for a place to live. That’s what we were supposed to do this weekend. She had been living with me essentially for the past seven or eight months.”
He said Robyn kept an apartment in Frederick, Maryland and his apartment was in Bethesda, Maryland. “She stayed with me for the most part, five or six nights a week and this was a huge surprise to me.”
Dr. Drew asked how long Richard has known Robyn. Richard said he’s known her for about two-and-a-half years. When asked if she’d ever cheated on him before, or if they’d had difficulties in their relationship before her disappearance, Richard said, “As far as cheating on me, no, not that I know of. We’ve always been exclusive since January of this year.”
Asked if he thought it was peculiar that she was headed for Aruba, Richard said he was under the impression it was a family vacation.
Beth Holloway, Natalee’s mother, was asked how her Resource Center was getting involved in Robyn’s case. Beth said, “First of all, Richard made the call to the Natalee Holloway Resource Center on August 8 which was a great move on his part. We were able to immediately pull together some photos Richard had given us and the biggest asset of the Natalee Holloway Resource Center is that we send out the media release.
“As well all know,” she continued, “media is essential in helping with tips and eye witnesses so we got that ball rolling through Richard’s efforts.”
Beth said she’s not been in contact with Robyn’s family and said the Resource Center has only spoken with Richard and a cousin.
Dr. Drew said Gary Giordano, the last person known to be with Robyn, allegedly had a violent past. “Two women have ordered protections against him,” Dr. Drew said. “Some of his exes say he was rough and had hidden cameras in his house.”
One of Gary’s exes came on the show saying, “He was erratic, he was a little violent. Like one time I happened to touch his hair by accident and he literally yanked my arm really hard and it was really scary. He was quite physically aggressive inappropriately. Apparently he has cameras in his house.”
In another case involving Giordano, a teen’s mother, Carrie Emerson, said Monday that her 18-year-old daughter’s dream is to be a model and actress. She told ABC News that when Giordano called about a possible gig she was suspicious, DailyMail.com reports.
Carrie said Giordano told her that he was a producer and that he wanted to take her 18-year-old daughter, who goes by the name Taylor Tyler, to Aruba for a photo shoot.
“He started telling me stuff like that he would protect her. He said, ‘It’s not going to be another Natalee Holloway or anything’.”
Carrie was suspicious about the offer. When she refused Giordano became frustrated. “He got very angry with me,” Carrie told ABC News. “He started telling me that if I went and slept with him he would make sure I was taken care of well financially. He said that ‘if you let your daughter sleep with me too, I’ll take care of both of ya’ll for the rest of your lives financially’.”
When former wives and girlfriends came forward saying that Giordano could not control his anger, stalked them, and allegedly hid outside one lover’s home dresses as a deer, his lawyer said, “We cannot deduce that there is hard proof to sustain a demand by the public prosecutor against our client.”
Officials have called off the active search for Robyn, but her family isn’t losing hope that she may still be alive. Giordano remains jailed for at least another 16 days because the judge felt there are still too many unanswered questions,TheHollywoodGossip.com reports.
According to the DailyMail.com, Giordano’s defense lawyer has argued Giordano has cooperated with authorities and should be immediately released. He claims there is no solid evidence against his client. In a written statement by his attorney, Giordano reportedly granted four interviews with investigators and accompanied them twice on visits to the area where he said Gardner disappeared while they were snorkeling.
Giordano’s Aruban lawyer, Michael Lopez, said, “To date, our client has given all possible cooperation to the investigation.”
Police said they doubt certain aspects of Giordano’s story – including that he and Robyn went into the water the day he claims she drowned while snorkeling. They are seeking eyewitnesses to build their case against him, DailyMail.com reports.
Sharon Cohen, a former wife of Giordano’s, wrote in court papers in 2001 that “He [Giordano] can’t control his anger.”
Their relationship deteriorated and their marriage of 16 years ended in divorce in 2003. Giordano went on to remarry in 2006, a marriage that lasted only two years.
Over the past three years other women he dated, many of them thin and blond like Robyn, said their romantic relationships with him turned ugly.
One woman said he threatened her and said “the world would be better off without me” – she said he secretly videotaped their sexual encounters. She met with prosecutors but didn’t pursue the case. She claimed Giordano retaliated by putting revealing photos of her in neighbor’s mail boxes.
Former neighbor Jeanette Farago said she started dating Giordano around the time of his second divorce. She said he was charismatic but could become angry and possessive. She said she never felt physically threatened.
Farago said Giordano would insist on having her password to her email so he would know she wasn’t seeing someone else. She said if she went to the grocery store he wanted photographic proof, and that sometimes he would spy on her. He would text her details of what she was wearing so she knew he was watching. He even hid in the woods dressed in a deer costume behind her house to watch her. She said, “He’s Mr. Perfect and then he’s totally different.”
Aruban Solicitor General Taco Stein has said that investigators working on the case believe Robyn is dead.
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