The Washington Post

Gary Giordano released from Aruba jail as officials pursue missing tourist case

Gary Giordano, a Gaithersburg man detained in Aruba since August, was released from jail late Tuesday, the Associated Press said, as authorities there continued to pursue charges against him in connection with the disappearance of his traveling partner, Robyn Gardner.

“As of today, when he’s released, he is a free man,” Aruban Solicitor General Taco Stein said earlier Tuesday.

Giordano made no statements as he drove off in an SUV with his lawyers, the AP said, though one of his attorneys said he was happy, but “very uneasy.” Many expected him to leave the Caribbean island, but his immediate plans were not known, the news agency said.

Stein said he will go to court Wednesday to appeal a judge’s decision to release Giordano. He said he will also try to obtain a warrant for Giordano’s arrest. But the solicitor general acknowledged that by then, Giordano may have returned to Maryland.

Gardner’s family expressed frustration Tuesday.

“Needless to say, our family is very disappointed that even after all this time, we are no closer to finding out what happened to our Robyn,” her cousin Kelly Reed said in a statement. “We trust that the FBI and the Aruban authorities will continue their fervent efforts to investigate her disappearance.”

Giordano’s attorneys have said there is no evidence linking him to a crime.

Giordano, 50, was detained Aug. 5, three days after he told authorities that Gardner, a 35-year-old Frederick County woman, disappeared while they were snorkeling. Her body has not been found despite the efforts of scuba divers, underwater robots, helicopters and land searches, Stein said.

Authorities have said that Giordano was in a position to collect on a $1.5 million travel insurance policy on Gardner and that there were discrepancies in his story.

Stein said Giordano told authorities that the water suddenly turned rough while they were snorkeling and that he feared for his life. Stein said authorities confronted Giordano with their belief that the sea was calm that day.

“He has yet to come up with a different or better story,” Stein 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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