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NY kayaker's body found; fiancee charged with murder

NY kayaker's body found in river; Latvian fiancee charged with killing him, claiming accident

NY kayaker's body found; fiancee charged with murder

GOSHEN, New York (AP) -- The body of a missing kayaker has been found three weeks after his Latvian fiancee was charged with killing him by tampering with his boat during an outing on the Hudson River, prosecutors said Tuesday.

After a fisherman found a body in the water Saturday near the U.S. Military Academy, authorities identified the remains as those of 46-year-old Vincent Viafore.

Viafore vanished April 19 in what fiancee Angelika Graswald reported as an accident. She said his kayak capsized in choppy, cold water while he wasn't wearing a life jacket, and she was unable to save him. Graswald, 35, was rescued by another boater and treated for hypothermia.

But the story took a startling turn. Less than two weeks later, Graswald was charged with murder. Prosecutors said she wanted out of their relationship, and wanted Viafore's $250,000 in life insurance.

"She felt trapped, and it was her only way out," Orange County Assistant District Attorney Julie Mohl said at a court hearing this month.

Graswald admitted tampering with Viafore's kayak and later confessed "it felt good knowing he would die," Mohl said. The fiancee didn't call for help for 20 minutes after his kayak overturned, and witnesses said she intentionally capsized her own craft, Mohl said.

On Tuesday, the district attorney's office released an indictment charging Graswald with second-degree manslaughter as well as second-degree murder. It said in a statement that in addition to removing the drain plug from Viafore's kayak, she moved his paddle away from him as he struggled in the water.

Graswald's lawyer, Richard Portale, has raised questions about the statements his client allegedly made to authorities, noting the language barrier between Graswald and investigators.

"I'm skeptical of the statements," he said earlier this month.

Graswald is being held on $3 million bail.


Updated : 2021-09-28 13:14 GMT+08:00