Home / National News / Hudson River Kayak Mystery: Fiancee Indicted, Body Identified


(NEW YORK) — A body found in New York’s Hudson River over the weekend has been identified as 46-year-old Vincent Viafore, the man who disappeared after kayaking with his fiancee last month, and indictments against the fiancee for second-degree murder and manslaughter have been handed up, Orange County, New York, District Attorney David Hoovler said on Tuesday.

New York State Police said on Saturday that a body was pulled from the river near West Point and was taken to the Orange County Medical Examiner for an autopsy and identification. Police did not identify the body at the time.

The attorney for the fiancee, Angelika Graswald, 35, has also confirmed that the remains were identified as Viafore.

The attorney said in a statement: “The members of Ms. Graswald’s defense team, like everybody involved in this case, are relieved that Mr. Viafore has been recovered and identified. It is our sincere hope that the recovery and identification of Mr. Viafore helps bring some consolation to his family and loved ones.”

Viafore’s family has declined to comment to ABC News.

Viafore disappeared last month while he was kayaking with Graswald, authorities said.

About two weeks after the incident, prosecutors charged Graswald with second-degree murder.

New York State Police initially said rough water and strong winds caused Viafore’s kayak to overturn.

Graswald, a Latvian national, called 911, according to police, who initially said that she tried to help him. While trying to help her fiance, she fell out of her kayak, police said, but was later found by a boater and rescued. Police noted at the time of the incident that Graswald was treated for hypothermia at a local hospital and released.

Then, prosecutors said last month that Graswald admitted to investigators that she tampered with Viafore’s kayak so that it would take on water.

Prosecutors said Graswald also told police that she watched Viafore struggle in the Hudson’s icy waters for several minutes before he went under.

Prosecutors said Graswald admitted to New York State Police it “felt good knowing that he was going to die,” and implied that “this was her only way out.”

After charging Graswald with second-degree murder, prosecutors said her motive was two life insurance policies that could benefit her for a total of about $250,000. Graswald even “talked about what she could possibly do with the money,” prosecutors said.

Graswald’s lawyer has said he plans to challenge the alleged confessions.

“We’re going to find out whether they indeed happened, whether they were voluntary or forced,” Graswald’s attorney, Richard Portale, said of the alleged confessions reported by prosecutors. “And it’s all going to come out.”

Graswald has not yet entered a plea. Her bail has been set at $3 million.

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