Aruba Suspect Gary Giordano Released After Spending Four Months in Jail

Aruba Suspect Gary Giordano Heads to US
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Gary Giordano, the lone suspect in the case of a Maryland woman missing in Aruba, Robyn Gardner, was released Tuesday night after spending four months in an Aruban jail.

The 50-year-old American businessman emerged from the KIA prison, without addressing the crowd of American and local media that had gathered outside, and got into a small SUV, driven by his Aruban attorney Chris Lejueze. His attorney Jose Baez was also in the vehicle, which the media immediately swarmed, blocking the car for a few tense moments to peer inside, before the SUV drove out of the prison gates.

Giordano will leave the island tomorrow for the United States, before the Aruban High Court convenes at 11 a.m. ET Wednesday.

The island's prosecutors have appealed Giordano's release, and the judges could decide to extend his detention another 30 days, in which case they would likely seek to have him extradited.

Taco Stein, Aruba's solicitor general, spent the day scrambling to convince the appeals panel to convene sooner than Wednesday morning.

"Whether a high court will grant a detention, we want to make it clear that for us, the case does not end here. Giordano will remain our prime suspect," Stein said at a press conference Tuesday.

Earlier on Tuesday, mere hours before Giordano was set free, Gardner's family released a statement to ABC News saying they are disappointed at the lack of answers about how she disappeared.

"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," Kelly Reed, Gardner's cousin, told ABC News in a statement. "We trust that the FBI and the Aruban authorities will continue their fervent efforts to investigate her disappearance."

Gardner's family also said today they are still hopeful that someone with information about Gardner's whereabouts could come forward.

"Perhaps the public attention that this has generated will result in someone stepping forward with information that will help find her," Reed said.

It's a case that is eerily similar in outcome to the disapperance of Natalee Holloway in 2005 -- another blonde American woman who vanished from the island. Jordan van der Sloot, the man suspected of killing Holloway, was released. He is now in prison in Lima, Peru, charged with the 2010 murder of a Peruvian woman. Holloway has never been found.

Giordano's release after 116 days in jail comes after an Aruban judge threw out the prosecutors' request to keep him detained without charge for an additional 30 days. Aruban prosecutors do not have a body or a murder weapon, and have not locked down a definitive motive for Giordano to kill Gardner, 35. But they have argued they have enough circumstantial evidence to keep him in an Aruban jail.

Giordano's lawyer, Jose Baez, told ABC News that his client would be willing to comply with any extradition order if needed at a later date.

"Should they decide to extradite him, Gary's not going to run from anything. Gary's not running from anything. He'll come back voluntarily. It's not going to be anything that I think is going to be a problem," Baez said.

Aruban authorities told ABC News that they would seriously consider having Giordano extradited if they discover any hard evidence against him.

Investigators told ABC News they have Giordano's laptop and Blackberry, and are just beginning to pore through the computer, as well as Gardner's iPad -- both of which contain tens of thousands of documents that shed light on the relationship the two had, which Giordano has previously said was almost entirely physical.

Baez, who gained fame this summer when he spearheaded Casey Anthony's acquittal on charges she murdered her 2-year-old daughter Caylee, called the conditions that led to Giordano's spending over 116 days in an Aruban jail disastrous.

"You throw in the circumstances of how Robyn disappeared, and you throw in the fact that Gary is an American, and it creates a recipe for disaster, one that has kept him locked up for four months, in prison, uncharged," Baez said.

For those four months, investigators grilled Giordano on what they called his suspicious response to Gardner's disappearance. He was arrested on Aug. 5, but has maintained that she was pulled out to sea while they were snorkeling off the Caribbean island after a day of drinking.

Just after her disappearance, Giordano is seen in surveillance video, almost casually knocking on the doors of a local restaurant for help.

Also leading authorities to suspect Giordano is a $1.5 million travel insurance policy purchased for Gardner, which names him as the sole beneficiary and was taken out the day before the two flew to Aruba.

In September, Giordano was denied release from jail after evidence surfaced suggesting he was eager to cash in on the American Express travel insurance policy.

"[He] sounded excited, like he was about to win something," a representative from American Express insurance who spoke to Giordano told the FBI.

According to Stein, the investigation will continue whether Giordano is held in Aruba or not. Aruban authorities have already spent millions investigating Gardner's disappearance. After using cadaver dogs and helicopters to comb the island, the cost of the investigation is already far greater than the budget for the Aruban Justice Ministry.

"We will still be with it. It's something we feel we need to do not only so justice is served but so the family can learn what happened to Robyn," said Stein. "They deserve answers and we are determined to bring answers to them."

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