State police have pulled a body out of the Hudson River near where 46-year-old Poughkeepsie resident Vincent Viafore went missing last month during a kayaking trip with his fiancee. according to reports. The woman, Latvia native Angelika Graswald, is accused of tampering with Viafore's kayak and watching him drown, then capsizing her own kayak to make his disappearance look like an accident. Police brought the corpse ashore on Saturday morning near the Cornwall Yacht Club in Cornwall-on-Hudson, according to reports. The club faces Bannerman Island, where the couple paddled the day of the alleged murder.
Officials have not confirmed that the body is Viafore's, but a forensic expert for Graswald's defense team told NBC4 that its clothing resembles what Viafore was wearing the day he disappeared.
Graswald allegedly confessed to sabotaging Viafore's boat and told prosecutors "it felt good knowing he was going to die." Her lawyer has raised the possibility that the confession was coerced and, given that English isn't Graswald's first language, that she may not have known what she was saying. She was set to be the beneficiary of a $250,000 life insurance policy taken out by Viafore. She is being charged with second-degree murder and held on $3-million bail.
Whether or not Graswald murdered her partner, the pair were woefully under-prepared when they set out on their fateful trip, as the Times recently outlined after interviewing experts. For one, VIafore wasn't wearing a life jacket. Also, on the day they went out, the water temperature was 46 degrees, and they should have at least worn wetsuits, but didn't. Finally, they were riding in whitewater kayaks, which would have been the type least well-suited to traveling long distances in choppy water.