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U.S. Man Held In Aruba After Md. Travel Partner Vanishes

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McCorkel Meghan 370x278 (2) Meghan McCorkell
Meghan McCorkell joined the Eyewitness News team in July 2011 as a...
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ORANJESTAD, Aruba (WJZ) — The search continues for a missing Frederick woman in Aruba.  Now a Maryland man is being held in the country for questioning. 

Meghan McCorkell has more on the efforts to find Robyn Colson Gardner.

Police took Gary Giordano of Gaithersburg into custody as he was trying to leave Aruba.  He was traveling with Gardner and reported her missing.

Police in Aruba have detained 50-year-old Giordano.  Investigators say he was with 35-year-old Gardner when she disappeared.  Giordano told authorities he and Gardner were snorkeling when they started to swim toward the beach. 

The Aruban prosecutor’s office says, “He stated further that the woman had not reached the beach together with him and apparently had remained in the water.”

No one has seen her since.

“I just don’t think she was snorkeling.  I think something has happened at this person’s hand,” said Gardner’s boyfriend, Richard Forester.

Forester says he’s been dating Gardner for the past two and a half years.  She told him she was going away with her family but he told WJZ she really snuck away with Giordano, who she met on an online dating site.

“All I could imagine is that while she was there, whatever was happening to her, she was screaming for me and I wasn’t there,” Forester said.

Gardner disappeared in the same city where Natalee Holloway vanished in 2005.  Friends have turned to the Natalee Holloway Resource Center for help.

“In this instance, since it was Aruba, Beth Holloway was able to step in and start working with us on it right away.  She was able to get an FBI contact for us immediately,” said Janine Vaccarello.

But so far, no tips have led to Gardner.

WJZ has obtained court documents that show Giordano has faced criminal charges, including theft.  At least one woman filed a peace order against him.  His lawyer emphatically denied his client had anything to do with Gardner’s disappearance.

Search parties are continuing to look for Gardner along the beach where she was reported missing.

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