Prosecutors believe that suspect Angelika Graswald had every intention of ending the life of fiancé Vincent Viafore. Although Graswald claimed the man she loved died tragically during a kayaking incident, there is reportedly evidence that suggests she played a sinister role in his death.
According to authorities, the 35-year-old Latvia native pulled the plug on Viafore’s kayak and tampered with his paddle, ensuring his demise. When the man attempted to save himself by reaching for his paddle, prosecutors claim that Graswald interfered. Angelika is accused of pushing Vincent’s paddle away from him as he struggled for his life.
— Jon Dougherty (@JonDTWCNews) May 26, 2015
These were some of the most shocking claims made by Orange County officials after Angelika Graswald was charged with the murder of Vincent Viafore. The body of the 46-year-old was positively identified over the weekend. He had been missing for weeks, since his presumed drowning during a kayaking trip with Graswald. Despite initial claims that she attempted to save his life and get help, his former fiancée told authorities conflicting stories. Claims that she wished that he would die and supposed admission of relief at knowing he would die served to raise suspicions.
These statements, combined with alleged evidence of tampering, has led Angelika Graswald to be charged with second-degree manslaughter and second-degree murder. Although prosecutors are convinced of her guilt, the specific motive seems to be slightly less clear. Orange County Assistant District Attorney Julie Mohl suggested that Graswald felt “trapped” by her relationship with Viafore and killed him because she was unhappy.
However, it’s also heavily implied that Angelika was something of an exotic gold digger, a woman who was using Vincent Viafore for his wealth. Authorities claim that the woman stood to collect $250,000, as her fiancé made her the beneficiary of multiple policies. Whether the motivation was money or misery is irrelevant if the evidence is enough to convince a jury. If found guilty, Graswald could be looking at 25 years behind bars.
— Monica Lindstrom (@monicalindstrom) May 14, 2015
Prosecutors are convinced that the truth about what happened on the Hudson River back in April is known to more people than the deceased victim and the suspect. District Attorney David M. Hoovler has asked that anyone with knowledge of the case come forward.
“There are people who may have seen the deceased and the defendant prior to going out on April 19 or know the circumstances regarding their relationship.”
Graswald’s defense attorney Richard A. Portale has called the claims by the prosecution “a rush to judgment” and maintains his client’s innocence.
Do you think Angelika Graswald killed her fiancé for money, or is this really a rush to judgment as her lawyer implied? Please share your feedback below!
[Image Credit: Inside Edition / News 12 Winchester]