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Document: Aruba cops quizzed Giordano on finances, insurance

From Martin Savidge and Tristan Smith, CNN
Gary Giordano could be held until August 31 in connection with the disappearance of Robyn Gardner.
Gary Giordano could be held until August 31 in connection with the disappearance of Robyn Gardner.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Photos found on the suspect's camera are "explicit," the solicitor general says
  • Giordano's mother is the beneficiary on his $1.5 insurance policy, the official adds
  • The suspect said that missing companion Robyn Gardner was a comfortable swimmer
  • He told investigators he "was busy saving my life" when he swam back to shore

Oranjestad, Aruba (CNN) -- Police on Aruba raised questions about Gary Giordano's finances early in their investigation of the disappearance of his companion, Robyn Gardner, according to an interview transcript obtained by CNN.

Giordano, who is now being held by police on the Dutch Caribbean island, talked with investigators shortly before he was taken into custody August 5. In the transcript, obtained exclusively by CNN, police asked Giordano about his debts and child-support obligations, business income and the travel insurance policies he purchased for Gardner and himself before they flew to Aruba on July 31.

On Thursday, Aruba Solicitor General Taco Stein said that both Giordano and Gardner had their own travel insurance policies worth $1.5 million each. Giordano's mother is the beneficiary on his policy, Stein said, and authorities have not said who is the beneficiary on Gardner's policy.

Giordano, in fact, told investigators that his mother was the beneficiary on his policy, according to the interview transcript. He was not asked who was named as the beneficiary of Gardner's policy.

A judge ordered Monday that Giordano could be held until August 31 in connection with Gardner's disappearance. The 50-year-old Gaithersburg, Maryland, resident has told investigators that he went snorkeling with Gardner on August 2 and that she failed to return to shore with him.

According to the transcript, Giordano told police that he feared for his life when he signaled for Gardner to turn back and didn't look for her as he swam for shore.

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"I only looked back when I hit a rock," the document quotes Giordano as telling investigators. "Before that, I did not look back. I was only busy saving my life."

Gardner had been snorkeling before and was a comfortable swimmer, he said. And he showed police scrapes on his legs, but he said he did not know how they happened.

Giordano himself told authorities about the travel insurance, Stein said, and the FBI brought copies of the policy to Aruba this week.

His lawyer, Michael Lopez, has not returned repeated calls for comment regarding the policy.

In his interview, Giordano said he ran a temporary manpower agency and did not want to discuss his business income since it varied from month to month. He said that his finances were in good shape, that he had no debt beyond a mortgage and that he paid $600 a month in child support for his two children from a previous marriage.

Giordano is being held at the island's prison, the Correctional Institute of Aruba, commonly known by the Dutch acronym KIA. Aruban authorities said Thursday that two convicts from that facility escaped sometime after midnight, but Giordano remained locked up.

As part of the probe, authorities got a hold of a camera that Giordano had been using while in Aruba with Gardner. Based on his own conversations with Aruban law enforcement officials, Stein described the photos found on Giordano's camera as "explicit."

DNA tests have been taken from Giordano and sent to Holland for processing, Stein said Thursday. No time was given as to when those results could be expected back.

The solicitor general knocked down local media reports -- citing sources close to the investigation -- about bloody handprints found on rocks behind the Nanki Country Club, the same spot where the pair was said to be snorkeling. He also said that no condom was found in the area, as has been reported.

 
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