Image: Robyn Gardner and Gary V. Giordano leave restaurant in Aruba on Aug. 2.
AP
In this picture released Aug. 24 by the Office of the Public Prosecutor of Aruba, missing American tourist Robyn Gardner, left, and her travel companion Gary Giordano leave a restaurant at Nanki, southern Aruba, on Aug. 2.
By
updated 8/31/2011 6:15:12 PM ET 2011-08-31T22:15:12

A U.S. businessman who has been detained in the presumed death of his travel companion will have to spend at least 60 more days in custody as prosecutors try to build a case against him, an Aruba judge ruled Wednesday.

The examining magistrate agreed to extend the detention of Gary V. Giordano at the request of prosecutors after a hearing inside the prison on the Dutch Caribbean island.

The hearing was closed and the decision was not released. But it was announced by the Aruban prosecutor's office, which said Giordano is suspected of involvement in the possible drowning of his companion Robyn Gardner.

Giordano has been in custody for nearly a month since he told police that Gardner disappeared while they were snorkeling off the southern tip of the island.

At the end of the 60 days, prosecutors can ask the judge to extend the detention further or they can bring him to trial. Solicitor General Taco Stein said they are considering a range of possible charges, including murder, manslaughter, accidental death and insurance fraud.

Story: Aruba releases more photos of missing US woman

Prosecutors have not disclosed any evidence against him but have said he gave inconsistent accounts about the 35-year-old woman's disappearance. They also confirmed he was the beneficiary of a $1.5 million accidental death insurance policy he took out on her.

Stein said before the ruling that prosecutors provided the judge with the findings of the investigation so far but did not reveal all the evidence against Giordano.

"There are some things we still need to confront him with," Stein said.

Giordano's lawyer, Michael Lopez, said before the hearing that he believed his client would be released. Otherwise, he said, he would have no immediate comment on the ruling, but he has said previously that there is no evidence of any crime.

Giordano, a 50-year-old from Gaithersburg, Maryland, has been held in his own cell at the island's jail, but authorities plan to move him to a cell that he would share with two other prisoners, Stein said.

Giordano, who owns a temporary staffing business in the U.S., and Gardner, from Frederick, Maryland, arrived in Aruba on July 31 for what was supposed to be a five-day vacation. He was arrested three days after he reported her missing as he tried to leave the island. Her body has not been found.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Father of Aruba suspect: ‘He is not a monster'

  1. Closed captioning of: Father of Aruba suspect: ‘He is not a monster'

    >>> latest on the disappearance of a maryland woman in aruba . the suspect's father is speaking out for the first time. and nbc's jeff rossen talked to him exclusively. good morning.

    >> savannah, good morning. we didn't know much about gary giordano until now. we know that police told us he's lied to them repeatedly during interrogations and questioning, he was trying to escape as he was arrested a few weeks ago, he is now the prime suspect as you mentioned in the disappearance of maryland's robyn gardner whose family is grieving and misses her terribly. now gaiordanogiordano's father is speaking out saying he got sick of watching the coverage on television and not being able to say anything. talking to us exclusively about his son, his history with women, and the case against him. it is a side of gary giordano we have never seen before, the family man, here posing with his three children. we're protecting their identities. and in this photos, he's with his dad.

    >> the least i can do is stand up for my son and tell the world that what they've been hearing about him is not true. he's not a monster.

    >> reporter: frank giordano is 80 years old, battling cancer. now defending his son, the prime suspect in the disappearance of robyn gardner .

    >> i would like to show the other side, the side that gary is a good human being who is good to his family and good to his friends. i know that he would not be able to kill someone, murder someone.

    >> reporter: gary giordano stands by his story, that he and robyn were snorkeling in aruba , he disappeared he did nothing wrong. but police say it doesn't add up, holding him behind bars . no visitors or phone calls allowed.

    >> he's just been put in isolation but it's not just his isolation, it's ours, as well.

    >> reporter: but, he says, gary 's children miss him most.

    >> he's very close to the kids. he's almost a big kid himself. they love coming over to his house.

    >> reporter: but gary giordano has had problems with women. he's twice divorced and, according to police reports, two ex-girlfriends have filed restraining orders against him. but frank's long-time companion whose known gary for 12 years says gary is one of the good guys.

    >> any time i've ever seen him with a woman, he's always been very kind and caring and gives them his full attention. and i've never seen him out of line with a woman.

    >> reporter: they say gary has vacationed with several girlfriends and loves the water. but if things were serious with robb begin gardner , it's news to him.

    >> the whole situation is strange. i don't know the young lady . i've never met her. and i've never heard gary talk about her.

    >> reporter: a bizarre mystery in paradise. the prime suspect behind bars . and now gary giordano 's father just hopes his son is watching.

    >> i'd like him to know that even though we can't contact him, we would love to be able to contact him, that we both love him very dearly, and that he's missed. and i can hardly wait for him to come back.

    >> reporter: there is a hearing scheduled here in aruba this week perhaps as early as today. but it works a little differently here in aruba versus the u.s., where a judge will decide whether or not they can hold gary giordano . the hearing is not going to be public. it's not even going to happen in the courthouse here in aruba . instead to avoid a media circus the judge is going to go to the prison and set up a little minor small courtroom there and do it at the prison so no one can see. we're told we will find out what happens and what the judge decides after the hearing about whether they can continue holding gary giordano behind bars . important to mention, savannah, he has not been charged with anything here in aruba yet.

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