Robyn Gardner Is Not Another Natalee Holloway

Robyn Gardner is pretty, blonde, and disappeared in Aruba just like Natalee Holloway did back in 2005. But that is where the similarities end. So why is everyone trying to tie the two disappearances together? 

Certainly it's no less tragic when a 35-year-old disappears than when an 18-year-old does, but Holloway was a young girl on the precipice of a full and exciting life. She would be 23 today, no doubt a college graduate with big dreams and a bright future. She went on a school trip to celebrate her high school graduation.

Meanwhile, Gardner was an adult. She traveled to Aruba against the advice of her friends with a 50-year-old man whose motives were questionable from the beginning. At 18, poor decisions, like going home from a bar with a man you just met, are part of growing up. At 35, they are different.

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No one deserves to be killed or hurt, but it's a different thing. Holloway met someone on the island, Gardner went willingly to Aruba with a traveling companion who is now a suspect. No one forced her into anything we presume. One woman was an adult and the other just barely.

While justice may never be served for Holloway, possibly because Joran van der Sloot -- the main suspect -- had strong ties to the island. Gary Giordano, the suspect in the Gardner case, has no such ties. He was merely a tourist like Gardner.

The two cases happened to occur in the same spot, but they're only as related as two random disappearances in the same geographical location might be. In other words, Giordano is likely not a suspect in the Holloway disappearance.

We all like to draw parallels that make it more salacious, but unfortunately, the two disappearances are not related. It's a coincidence, if anything.

Maybe a more pressing question might be this: Is Aruba a place where you can get away with murder? Is their justice system corrupt in some way?

Perhaps if one can make a body disappear, then one can get off the hook in Aruba. Was Giordano planning something all along? The two disappearances may not be connected, but the location is significant and is a reminder to tourists that maybe Aruba itself shares some of the blame for both cases.

Do you think they are similar?

 

Image via Mike Bowler/Flickr

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