How Angelika Graswald Allegedly Killed Her Fiance In Kayak Incident, According To The Prosecutors Charging Her With Murder
The body of 46-year-old Vincent Viafore was pulled from the Hudson River last Saturday, more than a month after he disappeared while kayaking with his fiancée, Angelika Graswald. As forensic scientists confirmed Viafore's identity this week, Orange County, New York, prosecutors released disturbing new details in the case of the mysterious April 19 drowning. According to prosecutors, Graswald may have allegedly sabotaged Viafore's kayak by removing a crucial plug from the boat, and then purposely stopped him from saving himself. Graswald was charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter two weeks after Viafore's disappearance, and was formally indicted earlier this month. Her lawyers maintain her innocence.
The Orange County District Attorney's Office told reporters on Tuesday that they have received new details about Viafore's capsizing and presumed drowning, though prosecutors would not reveal their source. While authorities initially believed Viafore died in an accidental drowning, the D.A.'s office said Tuesday that Graswald allegedly tampered with his kayak before the couple went out on the Hudson. This included removing a drain plug from Viafore's kayak, which prosecutors alleged affected its buoyancy.Prosecutors also alleged Tuesday that Graswald pushed a floating paddle away from Viafore as he struggled in the choppy waters of the Hudson. Viafore was not wearing a life jacket when his kayak capsized. The D.A.'s office also presented evidence that Graswald, who is a Latvian national, waited 20 minutes after Viafore entered the frigid waters before calling for help. Prosecutors said eyewitnesses claim Graswald also overturned her kayak on purpose, which prosecutors believe was done to make it look like she went to save him. However, Graswald's attorney, Richard A. Portale, disputed those claims on Tuesday. He called the allegations against his client "a rush to judgment," according to The New York Times.
Viafore and Graswald were kayaking in the Hudson River about 50 miles north of New York City when the drowning occurred. Graswald initially told police that she dove into the water to try to save Viafore, flipping over her own kayak in the process.It was previously reported that Graswald allegedly made some bizarre statements to investigators on the night of the drowning. According to Orange County Assistant District Attorney Julie Mohl, Graswald said "it felt good knowing that he [Viafore] would die." Mohl also said at a hearing earlier this month that Graswald "felt trapped" in their relationship.But on Tuesday, Portale told reporters that those comments were false, as well as the allegation that Graswald pushed the kayak paddle away so Viafore would have nothing to stop him from drowning. "This is some new contortion and mischaracterization of some oral statement she's made," Portale told reporters on behalf of his client. "It's not impressive."If the case goes to trial, prosecutors said Tuesday they would include Graswald's verbal and written statements as evidence in court. In a true Gone Girl twist, Graswald told News 12 in late April that police arrested her after they found her diary. Speaking from Orange County Jail, she told the news source that the diary included passages about Viafore's preference for rough sex and threesomes, in which Graswald did not want to participate.Images: Vincent Viafore/Facebook