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Search For Maryland Woman In Aruba Called Off, According To Boyfriend

August 12, 2011

The search for Robyn Gardner, the missing American tourist who vanished in Aruba, has been called off by island police, according to the woman’s boyfriend.

In a case that has drawn comparisons to the still-unsolved disappearance of Natalee Holloway, who went missing from the same town in Aruba in 2005, local law enforcement officials have been trying to track down the 35-year-old Gardner. She was last seen on Aug. 2 at the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino in Oranjestad.

But after detaining a male travel companion who claimed Gardner drowned in the typically tranquil waters off Baby Beach, authorities have ended the search, her boyfriend, Richard Forester, told The Huffington Post.

“I’ve heard the search has been called off,” said Forester, 41.

Forester claims he has received word that the FBI and Interpol will pick up the search and investigation, but the FBI did not immediately respond to inquiries from The Huffington Post.

Aruban Solicitor General Taco Stein told WJLA the active search has ended as investigators have pursued all of their leads.

Gardner disappeared while traveling with Gary Giordano, a man she met on an online dating website and saw twice a month, according to CBS News.

Several days into the trip, Giordano and Gardner went snorkeling off the island’s southern tip, Giordano’s lawyer Michael Lopez told the Associated Press.

When Giordano, 50, noticed a current pulling them out to sea, he signaled to Gardner that they should return to shore. But when he got to dry land, she was nowhere to be found, according to Lopez.

Giordano searched for Gardner and spoke with police, only deciding to leave Aruba after the woman’s mother arrived in the country and he received permission from a U.S. consulate official in Curacao, the lawyer said.

But on Aug. 5 police took Giordano into custody before he left Aruba.

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