NEW: Gary Giordano is ordered to stay behind bars for another 30 days
The Maryland man's attorney argued that he should be released
The lawyers says prosecutors want more time to investigate the case
Giordano is the lone suspect in the disappearance of Robyn Gardner
An Aruban judge on Friday ordered Gary Giordano to remain in custody for another 30 days as authorities continue their investigation into the disappearance and presumed death of a Maryland woman, Aruba’s public prosecutor announced.
The decision followed a court hearing earlier in the day in which Chris Lejuez, Giordano’s Aruban attorney, argued that his client’s “life is being destroyed” and that he should be released.
Giordano, himself also from Maryland, was arrested August 5 “on suspicion of involvement in the disappearance and death” of his traveling companion, Robyn Gardner.
Giordano admits taking out a $1.5 million life insurance policy on Gardner, 35, just days before they traveled to Aruba, according to Aruban investigators.
The 50-year-old denies being responsible for the woman’s disappearance, insisting that he’d been snorkeling with Gardner on August 2 when he signaled her to swim back, according to statements from the prosecutor’s office. When he reached the Aruban beach, Gardner was nowhere to be found, he allegedly said.
The woman’s body has not been found.
Lejuez said Friday morning’s hearing lasted between an hour and a half and two hours. The defense attorney claimed that prosecutors argued to extend Giordano’s detention, saying they needed more time to investigate Gardner’s disappearance.
Authorities say they are still following information in the United States, the Netherlands, Curacao and Aruba in the case. That includes waiting results from examinations of cell phones and a computer. Lejuez says prosecutors also argued that they need time to follow up on “points of interest” identified by search and rescue dogs that were brought in from Holland.
Lejuez said Giordano told the judge that what he did not do what he’s been suspected of, declaring, “I am innocent.”
Lejuez said he argued there is no need to keep Giordano locked up. He could instead be released on the condition he remain in Aruba or released under some sort of bail. Lejuez said there is “no way the damage can be undone even if his client is acquitted.”
During the hearing, it was also disclosed that DNA test results on blood on a towel showed the blood belong to Robyn Gardner, according to Lejuez.
Giordano’s attorney said this fact is consistent with his client’s statement to police that Gardner cut her toe while coming out of the water while they were swimming. Police have denied reports that Gardner’s blood was found on a rock at the beach where Giordano says they went swimming.