Cops: Woman Took Paddle From Capsized Fiance

Angelika Graswald says she felt 'trapped' in relationship
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2016 6:06 AM CDT
Angelika Graswald stands in court on May 29.   (Allyse Pulliam/Times Herald-Record via AP, Pool)

(Newser) – It could have been a lifeline. But when Angelika Graswald sat in her own kayak watching her capsized fiance struggle in the cold waters of the Hudson River, police say she admitted choosing a different path. "I took his paddle when he was in the water," an investigator quotes her as saying, per the New York Times. She then strapped it to her own kayak, ignored Fiore's pleas to call 911, and allowed the 46-year-old to drown, say investigators. Graswald, who also admitted to pulling the plug from Fiore's kayak to make it less stable, has pleaded not guilty to murder charges in Fiore's 2015 death. At a pretrial hearing Monday, investigator Donald DeQuarto testified about the confession she made 10 days afterward, when investigators encountered her on the river's Bannerman Island, where she was placing flowers for her fiance.

Graswald, 36, said she felt "trapped" in her relationship because of Fiore's sexual demands for threesomes. Asked why she didn't simply break up with him, she responded that she was a spiritual person and "knew he would never really be gone" if she did that, reports the Poughkeepsie Journal. Police began growing suspicious in the days following Fiore's death because Graswald was acting more like a relieved woman than a grieving one. DeQuarto also sheds light on why Graswald might have chosen him to hear her confession. "'You know, when I first saw you I thought you were cute,'" he said she had told him. "I didn’t know what to say to that. I said, 'Thank you.'" At another point, she tried to give him a gift card and a homemade figurine, both of which he declined. (Read more kayaking stories.)

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