Suspect in missing woman case heads to NYC

AP News
Posted: Nov 30, 2011 1:34 PM
Suspect in missing woman case heads to NYC

A Maryland businessman who had been jailed in Aruba on suspicion of involvement in the presumed death of his traveling companion is back in the U.S. and heading to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Gary Giordano arrived in Miami Wednesday morning from the Caribbean island. A short time later he boarded a flight to New York, accompanied by attorney Jose Baez, who won an acquittal for Florida mother Casey Anthony in her murder trial earlier this year.

Giordano, of Gaithersburg, Md., did not make any comment while in Miami.

He has denied any wrongdoing in the disappearance and presumed death of Robyn Gardner.

Giordano was released from jail in Aruba Tuesday night after a judge ruled authorities lacked enough evidence to continue holding him. Prosecutors have appealed and expected a ruling Wednesday.

After arriving in Miami before noon Wednesday, Giordano, Baez and another man and woman went into American Airlines' private club before boarding the flight to JFK.

Aruban defense attorney Chris Lejuez had told The Associated Press that Giordano did not plan on waiting around for Wednesday's hearing.

Although Giordano was free to leave the island, a spokesman for the prosecutor's office said he could be extradited back to Aruba if necessary.

Baez said Giordano, the divorced, 50-year-old owner of an employment services business, is looking forward to returning home to spend time with his family.

Baez said on ABC's "Good Morning America" that Giordano wants to spend time with this children and plans on trying to "reassemble his life" after nearly four months in jail.

"We're hoping that of course this is the end of it," Baez said. "However, he's not running. So if they have a legal basis to require him to come back, he's going to come back."

Giordano first drew suspicion with what investigators felt were inconsistencies in his account of Gardner's disappearance. Later, they learned he had taken out a $1.5 million accidental death policy on her, which the solicitor general in Aruba said was viewed as a possible motive.

Giordano has said that Gardner, a 35-year-old from Frederick, Maryland, was swept out to sea while they were snorkeling in the late afternoon Aug. 2 off the southern tip of Aruba. Her friends and family have doubts about her disappearance, saying it was unlikely she would have gone snorkeling in the first place.


Associated Press writers Dilma Arends Geerman in Aruba and Ben Fox in San Juan, Puerto Rico, contributed to this report.