Cops: Suspect Pulled Paddle From Drowning Fiance

Murder indictment against Angelika Graswald is released
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2015 2:51 PM CDT
Cops: Suspect Pulled Paddle From Drowning Fiance
Angelika Graswald stands in court with Michael Archer, a forensic scientist, as her attorneys ask for bail last week.   (Allyse Pulliam/Times Herald-Record via AP, Pool, File)

Prosecutors who accuse a woman of killing her fiance on the Hudson River say she didn't just tamper with his kayak—she moved his paddle away from him in the frigid waters after he capsized. Authorities today released the murder indictment against Angelika Graswald, days after the body of 46-year-old Vincent Viafore was pulled from the river, reports the Poughkeepsie Journal. The Orange County district attorney accuses the 35-year-old Graswald of pulling a plug from the kayak to make it less buoyant and making sure Viafore wasn't able to save himself from the choppy waters after it flipped, all in a bid to get $250,000 in life insurance.

Her attorney says the plug was missing for a while and had little effect on the boat, reports the New York Times. He also notes that his client is a native of Latvia and chalks up what the police call suspicious statements made by her to a language barrier. And as for her pushing Viafore's paddle away from him as he struggled? "Says who?" he asks, as per AP. "This is some new contortion and mischaracterization of some oral statement she's made. It's not impressive." (More Kayak stories.)

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