SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - A Maryland man who claimed his travel partner apparently drowned during a getaway to Aruba has now become a suspect in her disappearance because his response to the incident raised suspicions of police.
Gary V. Giordano was in jail on the Caribbean island yesterday as authorities looked for clues to what happened to his friend, Robyn Gardner, 35. Giordano has said she disappeared while they were snorkeling near the southern tip of the island, the Aruban prosecutor’s office said.
Aruban Solicitor General Taco Stein said yesterday that authorities had called off the active search for Gardner because they had no more leads to pursue but that they planned to question Giordano again.
Earlier, the prosecutor’s office said it decided to detain Giordano on Friday as he tried to leave Aruba because of questions about information he gave police about the disappearance. Prosecutors have not said what prompted their suspicions.
Gardner’s younger brother, Andrew Colson, said Giordano seemed too calm when his mother came to Aruba to help find her daughter. “He didn’t seem very sorrowful. He wasn’t mournful or anything,’’ Colson told The Associated Press in a phone interview from Odenton, Md.
Colson, who last saw his sister in May, said Aruban authorities asked them not to discuss the case in detail, but that they do not believe Giordano’s account of what happened. He said she was unlikely to have been snorkeling in the first place.
“I think there’s more to it,’’ he said. “. . . She just wouldn’t want to ruin her makeup or get her hair wet.’’
Giordano’s Aruban lawyer, Michael Lopez, said his client was being unjustly held.
The US vice consul, Winnie Hofstetter, declined to comment on the case.