There is mounting evidence of foul play rather than accidental drowning in the disappearance of 35-year-old Robyn Gardner who went missing on Friday, August 2, 2011 on the Caribbean Lesser Antilles island of Aruba, and was allegedly last seen snorkeling by her companion Gary V. Giordano at about 3:30 p.m. local time, according to reports in the Daily Mail, ABC News, The Washington Post, and other sources published on Monday, August 29, 2011.
Mr. Giordano, who resides in Gaithersburg, Maryland, reported the woman missing to police in Aruba at 6:23 p.m. local time on August 2, and was taken into custody three days later, on Monday, August 5, as he was driving to Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA) to leave the island. He had been held since that date on provisional extensions, while the case is being investigated for evidence that a crime has been committed.
Giordano met Ms. Gardner through the online dating service, Match.com, but was reported in a separate incident to have allegedly made disturbing threats to another woman, Carrie Emerson, the mother of an 18-year-old model that he was trying to lure into accepting a Caribbean photo shoot, saying that he could make the mother “disappear without a trace”, after she had turned him down.
The twice divorced father-of-three apparently was easily upset when someone would decline his invitations, as happened when he first invited Robyn to go on a cruise with him.
He was also said to have a fascination over the inability of the Aruban authorities to ever locate the body of Natalee Holloway, the 18-year-old woman from Clinton, Mississippi who went missing on May 30, 2005 after being last seen with Joran van der Sloot, who is now in custody in Lima, Peru, charged with the murder and robbery of 21-year-old Stephany Tatiana Flores Ramírez on the fifth anniversary of Natalee’s disappearance.
Witnesses in Aruba also contest the allegations that Ms. Gardner, who had been drinking several cocktails over lunch at the Rum Reef Bar & Grill with Giordano, dressed in a body hugging long dress, with her hair and face carefully made up, would ever go into the water at Baby Beach.
To restaurant staff, the woman appeared to be inebriated, and would not be likely to want to disturb her grooming, describing her by saying that she “seemed so perfectly put together,” as seen in the attached slide show and video clip which accompany this report.
Even more suspicious, is the fact that Mr. Giordano had taken out a $1.5 million dollar life insurance policy on Ms. Gardner’s life through American Express, and allegedly attempted to file an accidental death claim on that insurance after the woman, who resides in Frederick, Maryland, went missing.
While profits from such a scheme might well serve as a motive, there is additional evidence that Giordano, who some claim has a hair trigger temper, a documented history of domestic violence cited in court proceedings, and issues with anger management, became incensed after reading a text message that Robyn had sent to a former boyfriend, Richard Forester, which read “I love you. I care about you. We’ll sort this out when I get back.”
Police have also described the photos of Ms. Gardner found of Mr. Giordano’s digital camera left at the Marriott Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino, where the couple were staying in Oranjestad, as “graphic, disturbing and beyond pornographic.”
They are also in the process of compiling trace evidence from the couple’s rented white Toyota RAV4 crossover SUV, Aruba license number V-787.
According to ABC News Good Morning America (GMA), when originally questioned by police, at one point, Mr. Giordano allegedly looked at his watch and blurted out, “She might be dead now”, signifying that he had perhaps dumped the woman’s body at sea, or left her to die somewhere else.
Authorities are regarding that remark as more than just idle conversation.
The critical question, given the absence of a body, is whether such largely circumstantial evidence, although highly suspicious, is strong enough under Netherlands laws which governs the Dutch island of Aruba, to hold Mr. Giordano for another 16 days, and eventually convict him of murder.
The police may already have made up their minds, with the Aruba Solicitor General, Taco Stein, reportedly calling Giordano a “mean bastard”, but a judge will decide that question based on points of law and not name calling on Tuesday, August 30.
Like many other cases involving missing women, such as Natalee Holloway, and more recently Michelle Le, Holly Bobo, and Lauren Spierer, families of the victims, including Andrea Coulson, Robyn’s mother, are doubly tortured by the grief of losing a loved one, and the uncertainty of what actually happened, putting their lives on hold, and into limbo. That consequence may actually be more cruel than the crime itself.
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