Aruba Orders Suspect Gary Giordano Held in Robyn Gardner Case

PHOTO: Robyn Gardner and Gary Vincent Giordano
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An Aruba judge ordered Gary Giordano, the sole suspect in the disappearance of Maryland woman Robyn Gardner to remain in Aruba for 16 more days.

Giordano is being held in the possible drowning of 35 year-old Gardner, who is now presumed dead. Giordano told police that he and Gardner were snorkeling together when Gardner was swept out to sea, but police arrested him following inconsistencies in his story, according to Aruba authorities.

Giordano left the hearing with a shirt over his head as he was put into a police van and driven back to prison.

Robyn Gardner's Family Hopes She Is Still Alive

Gardner's family applauded the judge's ruling.

"We are confident in the decision made by the Aruban authorities to keep Gary Giordano in custody," the family said in a statement released through a spokesman.

"We are still hoping to find out what has happened to our daughter, as we have not given up hope that she may still be alive. .. We just want to find our daughter, and we continue to ask the public for any tips they may have in helping our Robyn come home," the statement said.

In a hearing that lasted three hours, prosecutors convinced a judge that Giordano's history of domestic violence allegations and the inconsistencies in the story he told police about what happened to Gardner were suspicious enough to warrant further detention in the country.

Giordano'sattorney, Michael Lopez, had said prior to the hearing that he hoped a lack of evidence against his client would convince the judge let Giordano be released from jail.

Now, Aruba police will have more than two weeks to mount a case against Giordano, based on evidence collected from witnesses, surveillance video, personal cell phones and laptops, and other information collected by police and the FBI, which is helping with the investigation.

Police asking members of the public that may have information about Gardner's disappearance to call 011-297-582-0695 and leave their tip and contact information.The Natalee Holloway Resource Center, which is also helping with the case, has set up an American tip line at 407-237-2295.

Prosecutors will again have to go before a judge at the end of the 16 days to seek further detention or file formal charges.

Aruban police said they would focus on Giordano's "women troubles," including multiple restraining orders taken against him and allegations of domestic violence, when trying to convince the judge to detain him.

The sole suspect in the disappearance of

, 50, of Maryland, reported Gardner, 35, of Maryland, missing more than 10 days ago, claiming she was swept out to sea while they were snorkeling together. Police said they arrested Giordano due to inconsistencies in his statements.

Prosecutors this afternoon will focus on a history of domestic violence allegations and restraining orders to keep Giordano in Aruba for another eight days as they build their case against him. Gardner is now presumed dead, they said.

Two women were granted restraining orders against Giordano, and court documents obtained by ABC News show allegations of a violent assault by an ex-girlfriend.

"We argued about his past sexual lifestyle as a swinger. He started to choke me with both hands. He then shoved his fingers down my throat. I was struggling and gagging," the girlfriend testified in court documents.

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