Judge denies request to release suspect in Robyn Gardner’s disappearance

A judge in Aruba on Monday denied a Gaithersburg man’s request to be released from custody as authorities continue to probe the disappearance of his traveling companion, Aruban officials said.

Gary V. Giordano, 50, has been held since Aug. 5, three days after Robyn Gardner, 35, went missing. Giordano’s lawyer in Aruba, Michael Lopez, had asked he be released pending trial.

But a judge denied that request, setting up a hearing later this month, said Ann Angela, a spokeswoman for the Aruban public prosecutor’s office.

Giordano has told authorities that Gardner, of Frederick, never made it back to shore after the two went snorkeling. Aruban authorities have said they believe Gardner might be the victim of foul play and that Giordano was involved.

Aruban authorities have called Giordano a “suspect in a suspicious death.” Gardner’s body has not been found.

In Aruba, prosecutors seeking to detain a suspect must appear before a judge at regular intervals, authorities said.

After his next hearing, a judge could order Giordano released, prosecutors could proceed to trial, or Giordano could be held longer while prosecutors continue to investigate the matter, Angela said.

Dan Morse covers courts and crime in Montgomery County. He arrived at the paper in 2005, after reporting stops at the Wall Street Journal, Baltimore Sun and Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser, where he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He is the author of The Yoga Store Murder.

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