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Aruban authorities re-enact American woman's last known steps

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 11:01 PM EDT, Mon September 19, 2011
Robyn Gardner has been missing since August 2, when she disappeared during a snorkeling trip in Aruba.
Robyn Gardner has been missing since August 2, when she disappeared during a snorkeling trip in Aruba.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Robyn Gardner, 35, went missing while snorkeling with Gary Giordano
  • Giordano and Gardner traveled together from the United States to Aruba
  • Giordano, 50, is the only person authorities have identified as a suspect

(CNN) -- Aruban officials spent Monday afternoon tracing the last steps of an American woman last seen six weeks ago on the Caribbean island.

Prosecutors waited to stage the event until weather conditions were similar to those on August 2, when Maryland resident Robyn Gardner disappeared, said Ann Angela, an official with the national prosecutor's office.

The re-enactment lasted roughly one and a half hours. Cameras were allowed, but they were kept at some distance from officials.

Gary Giordano, the man Gardner came to Aruba with, is in custody and has been the only person identified by authorities as a suspect in the case.

Re-enactments are common in the Dutch legal system, like the one done six years ago when authorities probed the disappearance of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway, Angela said. Aruba is an independent entity within the Netherlands government.

The missing woman and Giordano, a 50-year-old from Gaithersburg, Maryland, arrived on the island on July 31 from the United States, prosecutors say.

Prosecutors say Giordano told authorities he was snorkeling with Gardner, 35, on Baby Beach on Aruba's western tip and signaled to her to swim back. According to a transcript of a police interview, obtained by CNN, he said he feared for his life when he signaled to Gardner and didn't look for her as he swam for shore.

When he reached the beach, Gardner was nowhere to be found, Giordano said, according to authorities.

Search efforts for the missing woman are ongoing.

Earlier this month, a three-judge Aruban panel denied Giordano's appeal of a ruling keeping him behind bars for another 60 days as the investigation continues.

CNN's Martin Savidge contributed to this report.

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