August 17th, 2011
12:33 PM ET

Aruban authorities probe insurance policy in missing woman case

Editor's note: Tune in to “Nancy Grace” at 8 p.m. 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.

The suspect in the disappearance of a Maryland woman during a vacation in Aruba had taken out a travel insurance policy on her, an island official said Wednesday.

It is too early to conclude whether the insurance policy was a possible motive for the disappearance of Robyn Gardner, Solicitor General Taco Stein told CNN.

Giordano's lawyer, Michael Lopez, has not returned repeated CNN calls for comment regarding the insurance policy.

According to Aruban prosecutors, the missing woman and the suspect, Gary Giordano, arrived on the island July 31 from the United States. Gardner was last seen August 2 near Baby Beach, on the west side of the island.

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. He said Gardner was nowhere to be found when he reached the beach, according to prosecutors.

Lopez argued unsuccessfully Monday that there was not enough evidence to keep his client behind bars, and a judge ordered that Giordano be held for another 16 days while police continue their investigation.

Giordano himself told authorities about the travel insurance, Stein said, and the FBI brought copies of the policy to Aruba this week. Investigators were still going through the documents, and Stein could not confirm the amount of the coverage or who the beneficiary was.

Local reports - citing sources close to the investigation - have said that a bloody hand print was found on stones behind the Nanki Country Club, at the same spot where the pair was said to be snorkeling.

"The blood discovery is interesting," Stein said, but he did not confirm or deny the details in the local reports. He gave the same response when asked about reports that an unused condom was also found at the location.

Meanwhile, an FBI official has arrived in Aruba to act as a liaison in the case. FBI agents have already been involved in the investigation in the United States, searching Giordano's Gaithersburg, Maryland, home.

Investigators plan to mount another search for Gardner, 35, in the coming days, Stein said. The efforts will be focused on the southern tip of the Dutch Caribbean island, with police, firefighters and Dutch troops taking part, he said.

- CNN's Tristan Smith, Martin Savidge and Ric Ward contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Aruba
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Karen Kessler

    Maybe she is in this with this guy, she lost her job, and they cant find her body, she could be waiting for him to collect the insurance policy, they may be going to meet in Mexico after the Millions are paid out to him. They may have cooked this up so they can collect the insurance and live nicely for years

    September 14, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bhaby

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      August 9, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  2. summer

    What insurance company pay out without a body...If they planed on getting any money without a body they are both really stupid. You can barely get an insurance company to pay for anything legitimate..you don't just call them up and say so and so is dead with no proof...I really think this guy killed her but is so stupid he didn't think things through..so now he killled her for nothing

    September 26, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Insurance journal

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    February 11, 2012 at 4:37 am | Report abuse |
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