crimesider

Murder case against fiancee of missing kayaker to go to grand jury

Angelika Graswald, left, and Vincent Viafore

CBS New York

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. - A New York woman whose fiance has been missing since his kayak overturned 11 days ago was charged with his murder this week based on her own words, a police official says.

"She made statements that implicated herself in this crime -- enough to certainly have reasonable cause to have made the arrest," New York State Police Maj. Patrick Regan said, according to CBS New York. "There is a lot of work that remains to be done, but we felt there was enough to make the charge."

Angelika Graswald, 35, of Poughkeepsie, was arrested Wednesday in connection with the death of 46-year-old Vincent Viafore. A second-degree murder charge against her was announced Thursday.

Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler told CBS New York his office is working closely with the New York State Police to ensure that the case will be presented to an Orange County Grand Jury as early as next week.

Viafore, also of Poughkeepsie, had been missing since April 19 when Graswald called police to report the couple was kayaking on the Hudson River when Viafore's vessel capsized in choppy water near the town of Cornwall-On-Hudson, about 50 miles north of New York City. Graswald told police she tried to help her fiance but she fell out of her own kayak. She was later picked up by a boater and treated for hypothermia.

Troopers said Graswald was wearing a life jacket but they believe Viafore wasn't.

Viafore hasn't been found. Authorities said they believe he ended up in the river at Bannerman Island, a landmark for its crumbling, castle-like 19th century arsenal near the river's east shore.

The search for the 46-year-old's body is ongoing. State police have reportedly asked outdoor enthusiasts and fishermen to keep an eye out. Police haven't commented on how they believe he died or a possible motive.

CBS New York reports authorities became suspicious of Graswald's account because Viafore is a good swimmer with a strong passion for water sports.

The station reports Graswald told varying versions of what happened on April 19, the day her fiance disappeared.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact the New York State Police at (845)-457-1388 or send information to ftips@troopers.ny.gov.

Graswald is being held without bail at the Orange County jail.