Search for Woman Missing in Aruba Echoes Natalee Holloway Case

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Natalee Holloway Resource Center / Associated Press

Robyn Gardner was last seen in Aruba on Aug. 2

Another U.S. woman has disappeared while traveling in Aruba.

Maryland native Robyn Gardner, 35, was last seen on Aug. 2 in an area called Baby Beach for its shallow waters, Aruba public prosecutor’s office spokesperson Ann Angela told the Associated Press. The case brings to mind that of U.S. teenager Natalee Holloway, who vanished on the same island in 2005.

(MORE: Official: Joran van der Sloot Knows Location of Natalee Holloway’s Body)

Police have detained Gardner’s travel companion, 50-year-old Gary Giordano, who tried to return to the U.S.

The man, whom Angela referred to as a “suspect,” told authorities that while snorkeling with Gardner, he had signaled to her to go back to shore. But when he got back to the beach, Gardner was no longer with him. He reported her missing that evening.

“Statements made by the traveling companion led to such questions that on Friday, August 5, 2011, it was decided to detain him for further questioning on the possible drowning of the woman,” said a statement issued by the prosecutor’s office.

The Aruba Herald reported that Giordano and Gardner met on an online dating website and had been seeing each other regularly for weeks.

Another man, Richard Forester, identified himself as Gardner’s boyfriend. He told AP that he had thought the relationship between Giordano and Gardner was platonic. But Forester now has his doubts about what was going on. “I’m starting to believe there was some romantic thing,” Forester said. (via AP)

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