FBI agents on Friday night searched the Montgomery County home of a man held in Aruba in connection with the disappearance of Robyn Gardner, a 35-year-old Frederick woman with whom he was vacationing.
Gary V. Giordano, 50, had told authorities that he and Gardner went snorkeling on Aug. 2, and that she never returned to shore. Aruban Solicitor General Taco Stein said in an interview that authorities asked a judge to order that Giordano be held for questioning, and that there are “discrepancies in his story.”
Giordano, who lives in Gaithersburg, has not been charged with a crime in Aruba. His lawyer, Michael Lopez, told the Associated Press that Giordano “emphatically denies being involved in any malicious acts.”
Late Friday, FBI agents who have been assisting Aruban authorities searched Giordano’s single-family home on Pueblo Road in Gaithersburg. About a dozen unmarked cars were on the scene, and agents could be seen on the first and second floors of the stone home, which is set back from the road.
“We’re here this evening to execute a federal search warrant on the residence of Gary Vincent Giordano,” FBI agent Phil Celestini told reporters outside the home. “This search is being conducted pursuant to a criminal investigation. Because this is an active investigation, we cannot comment further.”
Giordano had previously been accused by two Montgomery County women of domestic threats or abuse, according to requests for restraining orders filed in Rockville courthouses. In once case, a former girlfriend alleged that Giordano stalked her, secretly videotaped them having sex and then posted pornographic photos of her on the Internet, according to court papers.
Montgomery County authorities said they investigated the woman’s claims but ultimately dropped the probe because she did not want to pursue the case. The woman’s lawyer said in an interview that her client was afraid.
Aruban authorities said Giordano and Gardner arrived on the Island July 31. Two days later, Giordano told local police that Gardner failed to make it to the beach after they went snorkeling. Three days after that, as Giordano tried to leave the island, police arrested him at the airport.
Aruban authorities said Giordano has stopped cooperating in the investigation. He is scheduled to appear in a closed court hearing Monday, and authorities will have to determine whether to pursue criminal charges.
View photo gallery: Robyn Gardner missing in Aruba