Aruba police and the FBI are scrambling to gather evidence in the disappearance of Maryland woman Robyn Gardner before Monday, when Gary Giordano, her traveling partner and the only suspect in the case, will go before a judge who may release him, according to Aruba Solicitor General Taco Stein.
Giordano's U.S. house will be searched today by the FBI, and Aruba authorities say they are combing through the data from electronic devices Gardner and Giordano had while on vacation. Stein said they are viewing surveillance video and asking any witnesses to come forward to obtain as much evidence as possible before Monday afternoon, when Giordano will go to court. If there is sufficient evidence, a judge can then order Giordano to remain in the country as a suspect for another eight days under Aruba law, Stein said.
According to a U.S. Customs agent, Giordano came within minutes of leaving Aruba Aug. 5 before he was arrested, having made it through Customs and onto what is considered US soil as he was about to board a U.S.-bound plane. Aruba police obtained permission from U.S. authorities to detain Giordano, the agent said.
Giordano, 50, of Maryland, is being held as a suspect in the case because of "serious inconsistencies" in his story about her disappearance, according to Stein. Giordano told police the two were snorkeling off Baby Beach and Gardner never returned to shore, but Stein said there is a gap in time from when witnesses spotted the pair on the beach and Giordano reported Gardner, 35, missing.
"When you don't have a body and you suspect that there's foul play, it's always a problem," Stein said.
He added that Giordano has stopped cooperating with authorities
Giordano's attorney in Aruba, Michael Lopez, was instructed by his client not to speak with the media, according to Lopez's office assistant. He had previously said there is no evidence and no motive to show that his client committed murder.
Giordano Stalked, Pressured Other Women to Go Away With Him
At least four women have said that Giordano was alarmingly aggresive toward them.
Carrie Emerson told ABC News that Giordano tried to contact her daughter, a model, claiming that he was a producer and wanted to take her to Aruba for a photo shoot. He became angry when she said refused his offer.
"He started telling me stuff like that he would protect her. He said, 'It's not going to be another Natalee Holloway or anything,'" Emerson said, referring to the Alabama high school student who disappeared on the island in 2005.
"He got very angry with me at that point. He started telling me that if I went and slept with him he would make sure I was taken care of well financially. He said that 'if you ever let your daughter sleep with me too, I'll take care of both of ya'll for the rest of your lives financially,'" said Emerson, who told her story to the FBI.
Another woman said Giordano pressured her to go on a cruise with him, and when she refused, he stalked her, showing up outside her window wearing a deer costume.
Aruba authorities are counting on the testimony of women from Giordano's past to help convince a judge to hold him in the country longer.
Gardner Knew He was Dangerous Giordano had a history of sending aggressive, angry texts to Gardner, according to her best friend and roommate.