A Maryland man held for four months in the presumed death of his traveling companion in Aruba told NBC’s “Dateline” he struggled to get back to shore while they were snorkeling and that his companion never made it.
Gary Giordano, 50, of Gaithersburg, Md., told NBC’s Josh Mankiewicz he and his companion, 35-year-old Robyn Gardner, of Frederick, were snorkeling Aug. 2 when he realized they were getting in deeper water. He said he grabbed Gardner's leg to signal returning to shore, but getting back was a struggle because of winds and current. It was the last time he saw Gardner.
“It was a very calm day,” Aruban Solicitor General Taco Stein contends. “No current. No waves.”
“It could be flat one moment and then the wind can pick up and it could be rough,” said Giordano’s attorney, Jose Baez.
On Aug. 5, police arrested Giordano on suspicion of murder as he waited to board a flight off the island. The flight was before his originally scheduled departure, and the ticket agent asked where his companion was.
“He claimed that she took a later flight, which is, of course, odd,” Stein said.
Authorities had given him permission to leave, Baez said.
Police were also suspicious when they learned Gary had taken out a $1.5 million insurance policy on Robyn Gardner. Giordano routinely bought travel insurance, Baez said.
“I want people to know I had nothing to do with anything to harm her or anybody in my life,” a tearful Giordano told “Dateline.”
Aruban authorities said they will extradite Giordano when their case against him
“I think the circumstantial evidence in this case is very underwhelming,” Baez said.