Missing Md. Woman Met Aruba Travel Partner Via Online Dating

ORANJESTAD, Aruba (WJZ)— Robyn Gardner vanished on a tropical island with a man she met online.  Now authorities say they want to question him again.  Mike Hellgren has more on the investigation that’s generating worldwide headlines.

Police in Aruba have stopped searching for Robyn Gardner, saying they’re out of leads.  The 35-year-old from Frederick vanished in Aruba while on a trip with Gary Giordano, a friend she met online.  Police call him a suspect in her disappearance.

“It was a bit of a rollercoaster friendship.  Some days he was nice and other days he wasn’t,” said her roommate Christina Jones.

Jones says Gardner recently lost her job and her relationship with her boyfriend, Richard Forester, was on the rocks.

“I’m not giving up,” Jones said.  “Nothing is as difficult as not getting on a plane and going to try and find my friend.”

“I’m sad, I’m scared, I’m lost, I’m angry,” Forester said.

Giordano has a $1.3 million home in Montgomery County.  According to court records, one woman previously took out a protective order against him.  Another former girlfriend asked not to be identified.

“[He] yanked my arm really hard,” she said.  “He was, let’s say, quite physically aggressive.”

Giordano’s lawyer says his client denies any involvement in the disappearance and that they were nothing more than friends.

“They met each other on a dating site and saw each other two times a month,” said Giordano’s lawyer, Michael Lopez.

Every hour that passes is agonizing for Robyn Gardner’s loved ones.  Still, they have faith.

“This just truthfully is about a man and woman who went on vacation together and she didn’t come back,” Jones said.

Natalee Holloway’s mother is assisting in the investigation.  Her daughter vanished in Aruba in 2005; her body was never found.

More from Mike Hellgren
  • Leonard

    You have to be suspicious of every one! if an offer sounds too good to be true then more than likely it is. I disagree with leaving your significant others under false pretenses, and if you have to use any form of dishonesty to do something it’s more than likely a bad idea and you shouldn’t do it. This is a sad story!

  • Legal Eagle

    She has an active court case also with her ex-husband regarding alimony. Perhaps they should be looking at him as a suspect as well?

    • Tom

      @Legal Eagle – Or perhaps you should stop stalking people. Creepo.

      • Laurel

        public records are just that Tom public records, maybe if she did not lie to her boyfriend and go jetting off to an island with an unknown person maybe legal eagle would not have her name to look up…..

  • DJ

    Mr. Forester, you need to learn the difference between good girls and bad girls. You can’t honestly say that in your 2-1/2 years of relationship that there weren’t signs of trouble, you just chose to ignore them. Some girls are for marrying and long term relationships and others aren’t. This one clearly falls under the “others aren’t” category. I can tell just by the pictures, you gotta recognize!

  • Leonard

    You know what, I spent most of my adult life being that same doormat, I saw the warning signs in the very begining and chose not to see them for looking at the big picture and what could be. Over a decade and a divorce later the only one I had to blame for my hardship was this big bald guy I see in the mirror. The bottom line is if she would have made it back she would have put the lovin on him and he would have been putty in her hands all set up for the next time she wanted to do something shady. Now I regret for her this turned out so badly, but hopefully the boyfriend won’t just wind up in the same situation again, or allow some woman in the picture because she pities him and he likes that feeling.

  • Kim

    @ Legal Eagle, I’m with you, as soon as I saw that these 3 people were from MD (the missing, the travel companion and the boyfriend), I looked them up on MD Judiciary Case Search. Being Investigative turns up leads, clues and answers, it’s not “creepy”. None of the individuals involved were squeaky clean, especially her travel companion. I don’t understand her being dishonest, with her boyfriend about who she planned to travel with, maybe it was to have a secret get-a-way, with her on the side lover or to disappear altogether, but something is definately shady here. Hopefully she turns up safe and sound and can provide an explanation for all of this.

  • Leonard

    @ Kim I would hope you are right but something stinks here. Why didn’t he try holding on to her when he felt they were being swept out by a current? Remaining calm they should have been able to swim paralelle to the beach if it was a rip tide they were caught in and made it back to the beach. These are elementary rules most swimmers know before they swim in ocean waters. This dude seems to have just left her out there to drown either way. No Pun intended but something smells fishy!

  • Ken - No Barbie

    Only one happy here is good old Ken Gardner. No more alimony. Cheating wife is now fish food. Funny how the circular path always comes back to us.

    PS – It is important to know all players we deal with. http://www.courts.state.md.us is a great tool.

    • Leonard

      Ken-No Barbie,
      I never looked at it that way! And your link is a good idea for everyone to save in their favorites!

    • Kim

      As a woman, I don’t believe in alimony. Woman up, be independent and make your own money.

      The only instance, I see it fair, is if it is planned that the woman (or man) is to stay in the home and raise the children. It doesn’t take long to be out of the work force, to be behind on skills. HOWEVER, it should be a temporary allotment, in a divorce, until education can be obtained, to “catch-up” and brush up on skills and get your ass back out in the workforce.

  • Leonard

    On an online dating site I can be a single guy with no kids, six pack abs, 30 year old, dude with long braids in my hair. When I am a 43 year old, married with 7 children and 2 grand children, got a quarter keg and not a six pack, and am bald. My question is when are people going to quit trusting these dating sites? People can be anything they want to be on the internet. He could have taken her to Aruba on money he got robbing a bank or selling drugs. You can’t believe half of what people say on their profiles. I’m sorry if that’s offensive to people who are honest on theirs, but if they are honest they probably shouldn’t be on a dating web site because there are too many frauds out there waiting to take advantage of them.

    • MaryMac

      I AGREE~ I will NEVER use those online dating sites AGAIN until they start dong background checks and personality tests on folks! period. I met a guy just like Giordano on Match.com. He was a sociopath, had two ex wives that had restraining orders against him. He told me he was a pilot that made 125K a year….Reality: He was a homeless 52 year old drifter that conned rich women in Naples FL and made a living doing it! He tried to con me…the I had to get a restraining order after he tried to kidnap me and assault me when I broke up with him!!!!!

      • Leonard

        MaryMac Thank God you’re here to talk about it! I’ve seen it time and again with people not being who they claimed to be, nothing as severe as in your case but I am thankful you shared this, I hope people will read this and potentially save their own life considering your story!

  • independent

    So it could have been the bad new guy, or the jealous bf, or the alimony sapped ex.

  • Jeff

    So she was cheating on him and went to Aruba with this other man and lied to her boyfriend about it. While she’s in Aruba cheating, her boyfriend is at home thinking everything is fine. I can’t say that I have any pity for her. Did she deserve to die, of course not. But do I have any pity, no. If you don’t want to be with your boyfriend anymore, then end it, rather than lie, cheat, and use him. Karma works in mysterious ways.

  • JackDaniels

    Missing Md. Woman Met Aruba Travel Partner Via Online Dating


  • HooDatIS?

    this is so sad these women need to be more careful
    i hope this loser rots in jail if they dont find her

  • Mary

    Tom….the website Legal Eagle is referring to is public information. People should be aware of this site….especially anyone who may want to enter a relationship with someone, this is a valuable tool. This is not stalking….it is using common sense. Anyway, I did the same when I read the story, something about the traveling partner just did not add up. I looked him up and yes a domestic violence with one woman and a divorce with another. I have used this website in the field I have worked in for 32 years, so it does not make me a stalker. Background checks were a part of my everyday work duties.

    • MaryMac

      Excellent advice….I almost became the victim of a sociopath I met on match.com. This guy’s whole LIFE that he portrayed to me was a LIE. He tried to assault me and I later found out he had a history of being mentally institutionalized and domestic violence. In the end I literally had to move to a new town and change my name to get away from him – he stalked me for months! NEVER AGAIN!!! Yet, I have friends that are newly divorced that meet guys and will take the first dog that sniffs at their butt!!! It’s dangerous!!!

      • teenwolf

        No one cares.

  • JT

    So Legal Eagle thinks the authorities should keep an eye on the ex-husband also. Didn’t Giordano say she drowned. Maybe the ex-husband was deep sea diving at the same spot and pulled her down. Please engage your brain before you write. The only question here is did she drown as Giordano suggests or did he kill here? Anything else is just, well, foolish.

    • Leonard

      Now JT, what her ex is secretly Plastic Man, or Mr Fantastic from the fantastic 4, or stretch Armstrong? We can’t be too careful LOL!

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  • Kimberly Blackwell

    2 ken that website doesnt always show someone w/a record also its only for md or you could get your records expunged theres numerous reasons why they wouldnt show up on that website however y in gods name would she dissappear so far away w/someone she met on the internet and only went out w/2x a mo.come on now get real ive met guys on dating sites but ive always carried my smith n wesson 38 locked and loaded i was safe enough mayb just mayb the husband new these guys paid them to put a profile on internet take her on a trip n kill her its possible but i really think the internet guy did it

  • Jamie Messner

    Her boyfriend? Are you kidding me; she was trolling on match.com so he was just a stupid smuck not her boyfriend. And she was fired from her job, wonder why? Hmmm. Then she goes off to Aruba with a man who had offered to pay someone else to go with him, they drank all day at a bar then went snorkeling. She appeared grogy, maybe a little something something with her drinks. And then snorkeling. Not a good combination. that after a sexual partying night with gary, photos were on his camera. So, lets just say she drown. Would that surprise anyone? Not me. And they both wore sneakers into the surf. Gary looks tired pounding on the doors, he was a drinking off a hangover too. A little too much fun and no common sense is what I think killed her.

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