WTOP Exclusive: On anniversary, Aruba maintains Gaithersburg man murdered Robyn Gardner

Robyn Gardner disappeared in Aruba in 2011. (AP)

WASHINGTON – On the two-year anniversary of the disappearance of Robyn Gardner, of Frederick, Md., prosecutors in Aruba tell WTOP they still believe Gary Giordano of Gaithersburg, Md., kidnapped and murdered his traveling partner.

“The case is still open, and we accuse him of murder, kidnapping, and fraud,” says Ann Angela, a spokesperson for the Aruban prosecutor’s office.

Gardner disappeared Aug. 2, 2011. Giordano told police she didn’t return to shore when the two went snorkeling.

Giordano was detained in Aruba for almost four months, but a judge ordered him released when prosecutors couldn’t produce enough evidence to hold him.

Giordano was never charged, and Gardner’s body was never recovered.

Giordano’s attorney Steven Kupferberg, tells WTOP, “Gary authorized me to say he has no comment” about prosecutors’ allegations or the anniversary of Gardner’s disappearance.

In the days after Gardner’s disappearance, Giordano contacted American Express, seeking payment of the travel insurance policy he’d taken out for Gardner. The two met on a dating website.


Gary Giordano was held for four months in Aruba in 2011. (AP)

Giordano filed suit against American Express in Illinois, and the insurance company countersued Giordano in Maryland.

Federal court records show the Maryland case is nearing settlement.

Danielle Colson-Unglesbee, Gardner’s sister, says Gardner’s family “is still hoping for her return.”

“We certainly love her very much. I’m going to church to light a candle in her honor, and my mom will do the same in Florida,” says Colson-Unglesbee.

Colson-Unglesbee says lawyers for American Express told her they were drawing up final settlement papers, which do not include any payout to Giordano.

“We’re very happy about that,” says Colson-Unglesbee.

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