ORANJESTAD, Aruba — An Aruban court on Wednesday rejected a Maryland businessman’s attempt to reverse an order detaining him as a suspect in the presumed death of his travel companion in the Dutch Caribbean island.
The ruling from the three-judge panel means that Gary V. Giordano will have to remain in custody at least through the end of the 60-day investigative detention period imposed on Aug. 31.
“Of course he’s very disappointed and sad about this decision,” his attorney, Michael Lopez, said outside court.
Lopez had argued that authorities do not have enough evidence to detain Giordano as a suspect in the presumed death of Robyn Gardner, a 35-year-old woman from Frederick, Maryland, who traveled to Aruba with him for what was supposed to be a five-day trip.
Giordano, who is from Gaithersburg and owns a temporary staffing business, was arrested as he tried to leave the island on Aug. 5. Prosecutors have said they initially detained him because he gave inconsistent statements about Gardner’s disappearance.
The prosecution has disclosed little of the evidence against Giordano but has said he was the beneficiary of a $1.5 million accidental death insurance policy he took out on her before their trip.
Giordano has told Aruban police that Gardner was apparently swept out to sea as they went snorkeling off the southern tip of the island. Authorities have searched the coastline near where she vanished and parts of the island but her body has not been found. Richard Forester, an on-again-off-again boyfriend of the missing woman, said Wednesday that he is trying to organize a new search effort.