crimesider

Report: Fiancee of missing kayaker wrote in diary she wanted him dead

Angelika Graswald

CBS New York

ALBANY, N.Y. - Angelika Graswald, a New York woman accused of killing her fiance and falsely reporting he died in a kayaking accident, says she is wrongfully accused of murder based on outdated entries in her diary.

In an interview with News 12 Westchester from behind bars, the 35-year-old Graswald said authorities arrested her after reading entries in her diary in which she wrote there were times she wished her fiance, Vincent Viafore, dead because he pushed her for rough sex and wanted her to engage in threesomes.

Graswald told the station the diary entries were written during tough times and stressed she was very much in love with Viafore and would never have hurt him.

Graswald, of Poughkeepsie, was arrested Wednesday and charged with second-degree murder in the death of the 46-year-old Viafore.

kayakers.jpg

Angelika Graswald, left, and Vincent Viafore

CBS New York

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 Bannerman Island, 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.

Viafore is believed to be dead, but his body hasn't been found. Searchers in helicopters, in boats and on foot continued looking for him on Friday.

Police haven't commented on how they believe he died or a possible motive, but Graswald told News 12 authorities are accusing her of tampering with Viafore's kayak so that he would drown.

Authorities have said she was charged based on "inconsistencies" in her account of Viafore's disappearance, but Graswald told the station she's just in shock and has blacked out most of the night from her mind.

Following Viafore's disappearance, Graswald posted several photos of her with Viafore on Facebook. The images show an active, affectionate couple spending time outdoors, particularly on the water. Her page also features photographs of Bannerman Island, where police say the crime happened.

Graswald was born in Latvia and lived in Connecticut, where newspaper accounts show her winning honors in local photography contests. Records show she married twice there and divorced at least once.

She began volunteering three years ago in the gardens on Bannerman Island, a landmark for its crumbling, castle-like 19th-century arsenal near the Hudson River's east shore, Bannerman Castle Trust executive director Neil Caplan told the Associated Press.

"She's a very nice person and a hard worker," he said. "We're all stunned."

Caplan said events took a turn when Graswald, an avid photographer, visited the island on Wednesday and met investigators.

"She was there with police, and they had asked her to walk around," he said. "It seemed they may have had some suspicions about her."

Caplan said Graswald was arrested after leaving the island with police.

The 35-year-old is being held without bail at the Orange County Jail in New York and is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday. Prosecutors said they plan to present the case to a grand jury sometime this week.