Woman Allegedly Pushed Paddle Away From Fiancé As He Drowned In River


The woman charged with killing her fiancé by sabotaging his kayak allegedly pushed his paddle away from him and deliberately waited to call for help.

On April 19, Vincent Viafore, 46, went missing after he and his fiancée, Angelika Graswald, went to Bannerman Island for a kayaking trip.

A fisherman found Viafore's body in the Hudson River on Saturday just outside the US Military Academy at West Point, CBS News reports.

Graswald claims she unsuccessfully tried to rescue Viafore after his kayak capsized at around 7:15 pm. Viafore was not wearing a life jacket.

Prosecutors said Graswald removed the drain plug from Viafore's kayak so it would fill with water. They also claimed she moved the paddle away from her fiancé as he tried to save himself -- though it is unclear how the latter information was obtained.

Graswald admitted to tampering with Viafore's kayak and waiting 20 minutes to call 911 after the boat capsized.

The district attorney's office charged Graswald with second-degree manslaughter and second-degree murder, according to The New York Times.

Of the new developments, Graswald's lawyer, Richard Portale, said,

This is some new contortion and mischaracterization of some oral statement she's made. It's not impressive.

Graswald allegedly told investigators,

It felt good knowing [Viafore] would die.

Additionally, it appears Graswald purposely capsized her own kayak to make it seem like she was trying to rescue her former fiancé.

Members of a boat club report they saw Graswald enter the water shortly after they were alerted of individuals in danger nearby.

The temperature in the Hudson River was as low as 46 degrees the day of the incident.

Portale argues the death was an accident and the missing plug on Viafore's kayak did not play a significant role in his death.

Prosecutors, however, say Graswald planned to kill Viafore in order to reap $250,000 in life insurance.

Friends of the couple say they appeared happy, but Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler believes there may have been more to the relationship.

Graswald is currently being held on $3 million bail and if convicted of the most grievous charges, she could face 25 years to life in prison.

Citations: Kayak Suspect Moved Paddle Away as Fiancu00e9 Died (The New York Times), Fiancee pushed paddle away from doomed kayaker (CBS News)