Video: Police comb rugged terrain for missing woman

  1. Closed captioning of: Police comb rugged terrain for missing woman

    >> gop developments in the case of a an american tourist missing in aruba for three weeks. nbc's jeff rossen is on the island with the latest. jeff, good morning.

    >> reporter: hey, carl, good morning to you. look, when you think aruba you think about this, right? beautiful palm trees , popular hotels right above me here, and a nice strip of restaurants behind the camera position. but there's a whole other side to this island. just a few miles away , no one really lives there, rugged, desolate terrain, desert like with tactile all around and people say a per fith place to commit a crime and hide that crime, perhaps hide a body. that's where police are searching for robyn gardner. in the sweltering heat, dozens of investigators fanned out monday, combing the shoreline on aruba 's desolate south side . they used machetes to cut the brush. searched the beach, even climbed into caves and open wells. looking for any sign of robyn gardner, the american tourist who vanished three weeks ago today.

    >> there's all types of dry riverbeds, there's caves. formations where you could hide a body and it would be very, very difficult to find.

    >> reporter: the search area sits in the shadow of aruba 's prison where gary giordano is locked up, suspected in her disappearance. investigators are looking for physical evidence that might tie him to murder.

    >> hard job for us to find the body. not only for the body because it's very important for them but also for the investigation.

    >> reporter: investigators say gary and robyn came here together as a couple after meeting on match.com. he says they 70 snorkeling, robyn disappeared and that's it. he said he did nothing wrong. but police say his story doesn't add up. not to mention the $1.5 million insurance policy he took out on her life. investigators are looking into that, too.

    >> part of the investigative strategy is to keep mr. giordano talking. anything he says, even if it's an outrageous lie, it gives investigators a reason to keep their case going and to ask for more time.

    >> reporter: law enforcement sources tell nbc news giordano is still talking, questioned nearly every day behind bars . chris is a prominent defense attorney in aruba . what would you advise him to do, talk to police or be quiet?

    >> i would advise him right now to be quiet and wait and see what the investigation comes up with.

    >> a body?

    >> cross your fingers and hope they find nothing.

    >> reporter: robyn 's friends just want answers. how this young woman from maryland could vanish without a trace in a tropical paradise.

    >> you never know how much you're loved until you're missing, right? a lot of people love robyn . only gary knows where robyn is. that's the unfortunate situation about this right now.

    >> reporter: police spent hours searching on monday and in the end, they found nothing. it's at the point now, carl, they don't even know where to look next. we're told investigators will regroup today to try to figure out their plan.

    >> jeff rossen in aruba . jeff,

NBC News and news services
updated 8/23/2011 8:29:37 AM ET 2011-08-23T12:29:37

Police in Aruba searched a brushy coastal area for seven hours Monday but found no new leads into the case of a Maryland woman who disappeared on the Dutch Caribbean island, a prosecution official said.

The officers combed through the vegetation around Sereoe Colorado for the remains of the missing woman, Robyn Gardner, or anything that might link her travel companion, Gary Giordano, to her disappearance.

The area that was searched is near the southern tip of Aruba, not far from where Giordano, a businessman from Gaithersburg, Maryland, reported that Gardner disappeared while they were snorkeling on Aug. 2.

Solicitor General Taco Stein said the search, the latest of several in the area, yielded no new information and there are no plans to resume it. He said investigators are focusing on other matters, including the account of a new witness who may have seen the couple on the island and came forward in recent days. Stein said he could not provide further details.

Image: Robyn Gardner
Natalee Holloway Resource Center via AP file
Suspect Gary Giordano says Robyn Gardner disappeared while snorkeling in the waters off the Caribbean island of Aruba.

Giordano has been detained on suspicion of involvement in the presumed death of the 35-year-old woman from Maryland. He has denied wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, NBC News reported that a witness had come forward with a story that could unravel Giordano's claims.

A fisherman reportedly saw Giordano and Gardner leaving a beach together, and said they did not get into the water.

Story: Aruba defense lawyer: Release US man held in Robyn Gardner case

NBC reported that according to the police report on the case, Giordano told investigators that he and Gardner were drinking together and that she had a bottle of pills with her.

NBC News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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