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Robyn Gardner missing in Aruba: Investigators eye traveling partner Gary Giordano

10:27 AM, Aug 12, 2011   |    comments
Robyn Gardner, a 35-year-old Maryland woman, was reported missing in Aruba, say officials with the Natalee Holloway Resource Center.
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FREDERICK, Md. (WUSA) -- The FBI is helping Aruban authorities investigate the disappearance of 35-year-old Robyn Gardner of Maryland. The assistance includes conducting interviews and may soon include a search of her traveling partner's house in Gaithersburg.

On Thursday, the FBI did not say whether it will be searching the home of Gary Giordano -- her traveling partner -- for possible clues about his relationship with Robyn Gardner. But Aruban prosecutors told CNN that they are requesting that the FBI help with the investigation, including searching Giordano's house in Maryland.

Photo Gallery: Robyn Gardner Pictures

The relationship between with Gardner and Giordano appears to have blossomed as Giordano was being accused by other women he dated of stalking, secret video taping and assault.

Family law attorney Gail Landau represented one woman who swore out a Peace Order against Giordano in 2010. According to an application for a search warrant, Giordano was arrested April 28, 2010 after one woman accused him of strangling her during sex, an encounter investigators said was on video. According to the application, the victim "was struck several times in the head, face buttocks and legs." She was also "digitally choked and subjected to manual strangulation during the event."

Another alleged victim claimed Giordano secretly videotaped her and "threatened to publish and distribute the recordings."

Giordano's place was searched last year as part of the investigation into the accusations. One of his neighbors said, "I just know that he has done some strange things. Nobody really wants to divulge what it is."

The search warrant ordered investigators to seize any other tapes in the home -- which has a security camera on the roof and a sign warning visitors they will be video and audio recorded at all times -- that might depict other victims of Gary Giordano.

In the end, prosecutors dropped both cases when victims declined to go forward.

Giordano then meet Robyn Gardner on Match.com and they went on a getaway to Aruba. Her roommate in Frederick talked to the CBS Early Show on Thursday.

Another alleged victim told our sister station WUSA 9NEWS NOW she dated Giordano briefly and was also terrified by his behavior, but did not go to police.

Landau's client, who does not want to be identified, remains afraid, but is reconsidering the possibility of moving forward with a criminal case against him if he returns from Aruba, Landau says.

Giordano is expected to hear from an island judge Friday whether authorities there can still hold him for questioning.

Aruban prosecutors say that Giordano is no longer cooperating with the investigation and is claiming his rights not to talk. They also say they will be releasing Giordano's picture to help generate tips from the public.

Gardner was reported missing in Aruba last week, say officials with the Natalee Holloway Resource Center. Gardner was last seen on Tuesday, August 2nd at the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino in Oranjestad, Aruba.

The Prosecutor's Office in Aruba released the following statement Tuesday:

"On August 2, 2011 at about 6.23 PM (local time) 911 received notification of a possible drowning of a woman. The traveling companion of this woman, a man G.V.G. stated that they were going snorkeling behind Nanki Country Club and that at a given moment he had signaled his friend to swim back to the beach. He stated further that the woman had not reached the beach together with him and apparently had remained in the water.

The American woman in question is R.G, age 35, the man is indicated as G.V.G, age 50, also an American.

In spite of intense searches during a number of days by amongst others the surveillance department and the detective department of the Aruban Police, the Aruban Maritime Police, the Coast Guard, Search and Rescue Divers and volunteer divers of Jads and the use of two helicopters, an airplane and several boats, until now the woman has not been found in sea or on the shore."

Tuesday night, Giordano's lawyer, Michael Lopez, said in a written statement obtained by the Associated Press:

"Our client emphatically denies being involved in any malicious act concerning his friend and consequently does not consider himself a suspect."

According to the Associated Press, Lopez said that Giordano waited until her mother arrived before trying to return to the U.S. Giordano told him that an official at the U.S. consulate on nearby Curacao gave him permission to leave. Robyn Gardner's brother said Giordano appeared too calm when he met with her mother.

Wednesday, Aruban authorities called off the search for Robyn Gardner. Giordano has been detained as part of the investigation into her disappearance. Giordano's lawyer said Wednesday that his client was being unjustly held.

In Bethesda, Richard Forester, who says he is a serious boyfriend of Gardner, is among Gardner's friends beside himself with anxiety. Forester enlisted the help of the Natalie Holloway Resource Center to publicize the case in hopes of solving the mystery quickly.

Officials describe Colson-Gardner as 5'5" and 120 pounds, with blond hair and brown eyes. She has tattoos on her left arm (back of her shoulder to her elbow), her rib cage, and her right bicep.

If anyone has information leading to or about Robyn's location, please contact Fred Panneflek with the Aruban authorities at 011-297-597-5201.

On Thursday, Gardner's family released this statement:

"Our daughter Robyn has been missing since August 2, 2011. We can only pray that she will soon be with us and bring back the joy into our lives. She means the world to us. We are hoping for the very best outcome with the help of the international community that we will reach a favorable outcome. We are confident and very grateful to the Aruba authorities and volunteers who are working above and beyond all our expectations. I hope you understand that we are being quiet as to not jeopardize the investigation. Please continue to pray for Robyn. Thank you."

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