Gary Giordano Tried to Collect Insurance Payout on Robyn Gardner: Report

Gary Giordano was beneficiary in policy that could be worth as much as $1.5M.

August 18, 2011, 8:42 AM

Aug. 18, 2011 — -- Gary Giordano, the only suspect in the disappearance of Robyn Gardner in Aruba, tried to redeem an insurance policy on Gardner that could be worth up to $1.5 million, according to a report.

Giordano moved to collect on the policy, which named him as beneficiary, within two days of reporting Gardner missing, the Associated Press reported.

Police were investigating an accidental death insurance policy for Gardner that named Giordano, 50, as the beneficiary, ABC News had reported earlier this week. It raised eyebrows because it was unusual to take out a policy for a weeklong Aruba tryst, particularly since Gardner, 35, had a boyfriend she lived with in Maryland and they had discussed marriage.

Aruba Solicitor General Taco Stein refused today to comment on the AP report.

"We knew from Mr. Giordano himself that travel insurance was taken out and that's what we are investigating. It was subpoenaed and we are investigating that material to see if it bears relevance to the investigation," Stein said Wednesday.

Travel Insurance Policy Focus of Robyn Gardner Investigation

In Maryland, Gardner's live-in boyfriend Robert Forester said the revelations about the insurance policy were disturbing.

"To be honest, I was saddened to hear it. I can't believe that Robyn would ever sign something like that voluntarily. Maybe if she was forced to, maybe if she was misinformed to what it was," Forester said.

New details also emerged about the relationship between Giordano and Gardner, who were seen posing together in sexual positions in photos recovered on Giordano's digital camera, according to People magazine.

The magazine reported that the photos, which it described as "beyond pornographic," showed Gardner in sexual positions with "parts of" Giordano in photos taken with his digital camera. People reports that Stein revealed the information about the photos.

Insurance Money Could be a Motive for Gary Giordano

Brad Garrett, a former special agent for the FBI, told ABC News that this latest revelation raises further questions about Giordano's intention in bringing Gardner to Aruba.

"Was this premeditated? Had he planned all along to lure her to Aruba and kill her for the insurance money? It has that flavor to it, but we'll have to see how evidence bears out," Garrett said. "It becomes extremely important when you add all the other pieces to what we know about Mr. Giordano. By adding this piece it obviously takes on a completely different context than preventative insurance of two people."

Robyn Gardner Posed for Explicit Photos With Gary Giordano

Garrett added that in domestic homicides, it is common for one spouse to take an insurance policy out on the other spouse a short time before they die.

"It's not uncommon for people that have a mindset to kill another person to get life insurance," he said, adding that it will be important evidence for building a circumstantial case against Giordano if a body is never recovered.

"The key with this case, assuming you don't find Robyn Gardner, is that you're going to have to put together a very strong circumstantial case-- that it was premeditated, that he used a ruse to get her there, for example," he said. "When you add this to the apparent behavior of treating women in a certain fashion, stalking or potentially violent, it certainly adds to the case. Added to all the other things, it's substantial."

New details also emerged about the hours leading up to Gardner's disappearance, including evidence of blood not far from the beach where Gardner was supposedly snorkeling when she was swept out to sea.

A police source in Aruba told ABC News that restaurant staff at the Rum Reef Bar & Grill noticed that Gardner seemed woozy while she and Giordano ate on the afternoon of her disappearance. Giordano later told police they'd been drinking vodka at the Marriot before dining and that she'd taken sleeping pills earlier in the day.

Authorities said that they found blood on a rock behind the dive shop at Rum Reef, which is the last place the two were seen together. Surveillance video from the restaurant shows Giordano in his rental car parked in the back of the bar and restaurant twice, which he told police was so that he could park in the shade, according to the police source. No one else is visible through the car's tinted windows.

Investigators have also said that they had trouble identifying Giordano in surveillance video because he frequently changed his toupees.

At 6:20 p.m. on the day of her disappearance, police were called, and 20 minutes later began to search the area. Then, Giordano left the search to return to his hotel and take a nap, according to police.

After three days, Giordano returned his rental car and headed to the airport, where a ticket agent asked him about his travel companion and he responded, "She's taking another flight," police said.

When he was arrested by Aruban police, they said Giordano was drenched in sweat.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events