Suspect Gary Giordano Sent Angry Texts to Robyn Gardner Before Disappearance

Robyn Gardner's pal says Giordano was angry when she wouldn't go away with him.

ByMatt Gutman, Colleen Curry and Katie Kindelan
August 11, 2011, 8:40 AM

Aug. 11, 2011— -- Gary Giordano had a history of sending aggressive, angry texts to missing Maryland womanRobyn Gardner, according to her best friend and roommate.

Christina Jones said Giordano, who is being held in an Aruba jail in connection with Gardner's disappearance, had previously asked Gardner to go on a cruise with him. When Gardner went away with Jones to New York instead, he flipped, Jones told ABC News.

"He was texting her while we were at breakfast, very angry at her because she decided she wasn't going to go on the cruise," Jones said. "And his responses by text, which I don't feel comfortable repeating, were aggressive, harmful, something that doesn't sit right within myself."

Gardner, 35, disappeared last week while on vacation with Giordano, whom she met on an online dating site over a year ago, according to Jones. Giordano told police the two were snorkeling together, but Gardner never returned to shore. He was arrested when police decided his story didn't add up, according to Aruba authorities.

Jones said that her friend was aware that Giordano, 50, had a history of domestic abuse allegations, and that they had a "rollercoaster friendship."

When Gardner told Jones she was going to Aruba with the volatile Giordano, Jones questioned her friend.

"When she came to me and said, 'Hey, I'm going to Aruba,' I said, 'Cool, I'm so happy, get out of town, why wouldn't you?'" Jones said. "And then she said she was going with Gary, it became a 'why? Why? Are you sure?'"

Gardner, who Jones described as trusting and sweet, reassured her friend that the trip would be fine. Gardner had recently lost her job as a dental assistant, and was having relationship issues with her boyfriend of two-and-a-half years, Richard Forester, Jones said.

"She made me feel better, that it was going to be okay and she was just going to clear her head," Jones said. "She was just so lighthearted about it and kind of needed to get away."

Jones said that Gardner and Giordano had an on-again, off-again relationship for over a year in which they would go out for drinks and be friendly for awhile, and then not talk for a few months.

"Some months she wouldn't even see him and then other months he'd weasel his way back in there, and you know, she's going to go grab a drink," Jones said. "Sometimes Robyn was very focused on having a solid relationship with Richard when things were good, and then you wouldn't hear about Gary."

Gardner, who has a tattoo on shoulder, and Jones bonded because they stuck out in their small town because they both have tattoos, Jones said. Nevertheless, Gardner was the type that was hoping for a knight in shining armor, Jones said.

"You know, my gist on her was always, something great is going to come along with the white picket fence and everything, but it never came," Jones said.

Aruba Asks FBI for Help

Aruba is asking the FBI to obtain phone records and other third-party documents in connection with the Gardner case, the Aruba prosecutor's office confirmed.

The country has drafted a request to the FBI to ask for their help investigating the case in the U.S., according to Taco Stein, spokesperson for the prosecutor's office. Stein said they are looking for help getting information from third parties, including cell phone companies.

"Anything you have to ask a third party about must be subpoenaed," Stein said. "So we needed to ask the FBI, because only they can subpoena in the U.S."

Aruba investigators are looking to establish the pair's whereabouts and activities in the days and hours leading up to Gardner's disappearance so that they can present it to a judge on Monday in order to keep Giordano in the country longer, Stein said. Giordano has not been charged with a crime, but a judge can order him held for another eight days on suspicion, Stein said. The court appearance will be closed to the public.

The Aruba police had been in contact with the FBI and American authorities since the beginning of the investigation, Stein said, though they had not formally requested their help until now.

"We had two American people who came for a holiday, so the only thing we know is what's in their passports," Stein said. "If you need information on addresses or something, you need the American authorities. So we contacted them early on."

Aruba drafted a formal treaty request for mutual assistance on criminal and legal matters that it will present to the FBI, Stein said. He noted that it is a normal course of action when a country is investigating crimes involving foreign citizens.

Attorney for Giordano Says No Evidence of Murder

Giordano's attorney in Aruba, Michael Lopez, said there is no evidence that supports a murder charge for his client.

"They suspect murder but there's no proof, to my knowledge," said Michael Lopez, Giordano's attorney in Aruba. "I don't see any proof. There's no proof and no motive."

Giordano was originally treated as a witness to a drowning and was told by police he was allowed to leave the island, according to Stein. However, when parts of Giordano's story did not add up, they decided to arrest him, Stein said. He was arrested Friday as he attempted to board a flight to the U.S., according to police.

"He was first interrogated as a witness and in that position, he was told he was free to leave," Stein said.

"In evaluating his statements later on, we decided there were some things that were not correct and that changed our position towards him to seeing him as a suspect. At that point in time we decided that we wouldn't want him to leave the island," Stein said.

He said police are reviewing security tapes of Giordano and Gardner from the island for their investigation., and that Giordano has stopped cooperating with police.

Gardner's boyfriend says he doesn't "believe for a second" that his girlfriend vanished while snorkeling, and raised new allegations against the man being held as a suspect in her disappearance.

"I'm terrified," Forester told "Good Morning America." "I've been hearing stories about Gary Giordano, that he's quite tech-savvy and is able to manipulate people's computers and track them and follow them."

Giordano and Gardner traveled together to Aruba July 31, according to Aruba police.

Giordano has claimed that he and Gardner went snorkeling together around 6 p.m. on Aug. 2, but Giordano returned back to shore amid rough currents and realized Gardner had not returned to shore with him. He alerted Aruba police who searched the area with ships, helicopters and divers, but did not find any sign of Gardner.

"I don't believe she was snorkeling," Forester said today on "GMA." "I don't believe that for a second. She would be too concerned with getting her hair messed up, getting her makeup messed up. She's a margarita kind of girl, sit by the pool or on the beach and relax. I don't buy it."

Forester said that during Gardner's trip to Aruba, they kept in touch through Blackberry text messages and emails from her iPad until the day of her disappearance, including one message, in particular, that raised his alarm.

"On Tuesday morning, the 2nd of August, at about two in the morning, she posted on my Facebook wall, 'this sucks,'" he said. "I tried to figure out what was going on, but she didn't really respond. "

"The last time I heard from her was later on in the afternoon," he added. "She sent me a message saying, you know, 'I love you, we'll talk and sort things out when I get back.'"

Giordano's Attorney Claims 'No Motive'

Forester points to concerns that activity in Gardner's Gmail email account in the days since her disappearance may point back to Giordano.

"On Gmail, on the chat function that shows if you're active or not, there's a green indicator light, orange if you're idle and gray if you're off," he said.

"All day Wednesday and Thursday of last week it [Gardner's account], was green, orange and gray, and this is after she'd been reported missing," he said. "So somebody was on her Gmail account, getting in there. I was trying to talk to her, but couldn't."

"He [Giordano] has a keystroke program, this is just what I'm told, and is able to hack into people's email accounts," Forester said on "GMA."

Allegations of Abuse

Maryland court documents show that a Gary Giordano there has a criminal record, including two orders of protection taken out by women that claimed he was violent. One was taken out by his ex-wife during their divorce proceedings.

Two women who say they dated Giordano told "Good Morning America" he was terrifying, and another woman said Giordano stalked her.

"He was like following me, stalking me, and it freaked me out," said the woman, who wished to remain anonymous.

Family Releases Statement

Gardner's family has remained quiet, relying largely on the Natalee Holloway Resource Center, a foundation started after Holloway's disappearance, for help.

That changed today when Gardner's mother, Andrea Colson, released her own statement explaining the family's silence.

"We are confident and very grateful to the Aruba authorities and volunteers who are working above and beyond all our expectations," the statement read in part. "I hope you understand that we are being quiet as not to jeopardize the investigation. Please continue to pray for Robin. Thank you."

The family also announced that a confidential tipline has been established through the Holloway Center.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events