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Aruban judge orders U.S. man held 16 more days in missing woman case

By the CNN Wire Staff
Robyn Gardner disappeared earlier this month while on vacation in Aruba.
Robyn Gardner disappeared earlier this month while on vacation in Aruba.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: A judge finds enough evidence to continue holding Gary Giordano
  • Clothing found in phosphate mines is not Robyn Gardner's, official says
  • Giordano was arrested by Aruban police on August 5
  • Giordano's attorney Michael Lopez urges his release

Tune in to "Nancy Grace" at 8 ET on HLN for updates from Aruba on an American woman who recently disappeared from the same area that Natalee Holloway vanished from in 2005.

Oranjestad, Aruba (CNN) -- A judge ruled Monday that there was enough evidence to continue holding a U.S. man in connection with the case of a missing American woman, Aruba's solicitor general said.

Gary Giordano, 50, was arrested by Aruban police on August 5, three days after Robyn Gardner, 35, was last seen near Baby Beach on the western tip of the Caribbean island.

The decision to hold Giordano for 16 more days was issued after a jailhouse hearing Monday afternoon, Aruban Solicitor General Taco Stein said.

Giordano will be transferred from the jail to a prison Tuesday morning, Stein said.

Meanwhile, clothing found during a search of Aruba's phosphate mines does not belong to the missing woman, Stein said. The clothing was discovered Friday when crews were searching for Gardner,

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RELATED TOPICS
  • Gary Giordano
  • Robyn Gardner
  • Aruba

Giordano's attorney urged authorities on Sunday to release his client.

"Today, nine days later, four voluntary interviews, two site visits, and more than 30 statements coming from different sources including witnesses and professionals, we cannot deduce that there is hard proof to sustain a demand by the public prosecutor against our client," Giordano's attorney, Michael Lopez, said in a written statement.

"In anticipation of any possible reason of prolongation of the client's detention, we can state that no felony has been committed by him," Lopez said. "The Department of Justice at this time does not have any basis to request prolongation of his detention."

According to Aruban prosecutors, the missing woman and the suspect arrived on the island July 31 from the United States.

Lopez said last week that his client came to Aruba on vacation with a female friend he had met on a dating site and has known for years.

Giordano told authorities that he had been snorkeling with Gardner, when he signaled to her to swim back, according to a statement from the prosecutor's office. When he reached the beach, Gardner was nowhere to be found, he allegedly said.

Stein said Monday that Aruban authorities are holding Gardner's passport so it is not possible that she has left the country.

Lopez denied statements by prosecutors that his client is no longer cooperating with authorities in the investigation.

The attorney said in his statement Sunday that Giordano, whom he identified by his initials, GG, has given "all possible cooperation."

"The client has his own business and family in the United States. He has no reason whatsoever to obstruct any investigation," Lopez said.

He added that his client could be returned to Aruba "in case any legal proof shows up."

FBI agents on Friday searched Giordano's Gaithersburg, Maryland, home, Special Agent Rich Wolf told CNN.

CNN's Tristan Smith and Martin Savidge contributed to this report.

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