Hudson River Body ID'ed as Missing Kayaker: Forensic Specialist - NBC New York

Hudson River Body ID'ed as Missing Kayaker: Forensic Specialist



    Hudson River Body ID'ed as Missing Kayaker: Forensic Specialist
    ALLYSE PULLIAM/For the Times Herald
    Angelika Graswald stands in court with Michael Archer a foresnsic scientist and her attorneys Jeffrey Chartier and Richard Portale ask for bail and to unseal the indictment against her at her bail hearing in Goshen, NY on May 13, 2015. Ms. Graswald has been charged with second-degree murder in disappearance of her fiance, Vincent Viafore while kayaking on the Hudson River. ALLYSE PULLIAM/For the Times Herald-Record

    Authorities identified a body discovered in the Hudson River as that of the 46-year-old missing kayaker killed last month, allegedly by his fiancee, a source close to the case said Sunday.

    Michael Archer, a forensic scientist, said the body has been "positively identified" as Vincent Viafore. Viafore has been missing since April 19, when his kayak capsized in the Hudson about 50 miles north of New York City.

    Archer is working for attorneys representing Angelika Graswald, who is charged in Viafore's death.

    "The members of Ms. Graswald's defense team, like everybody involved in this case, are relieved that Mr. Viafore has been recovered and identified," Archer said.

    "It is our sincere hope that the recovery and identification of Mr. Viafore helps bring some consolation to his family and loved ones," he added.

    Graswald, 35, who had been Viafore's fiancee, was charged with second-degree murder.

    Viafore's body was found near the Cornwall Yacht Club, about a mile south of where his kayak capsized. The body was immediately taken to a medical examiner to determine the identity.

    The medical examiner's office did not return phone messages requesting comment on Sunday.

    Graswald, a Latvian expatriate, admitted to tampering with Viafore's kayak while the engaged couple paddled on the Hudson and later confessed "it felt good knowing he would die," a prosecutor said at Graswald's bail hearing.

    Viafore, 46, was not wearing a life jacket.

    Assistant District Attorney Julie Mohl said at a bail hearing that Graswald felt trapped and stood to benefit from $250,000 life insurance policies.

    Mohl did not detail how Graswald tampered with her fiance's kayak but said it filled with water and capsized. Viafore held onto his boat for 5 to 10 minutes in the cold, choppy water, but Graswald called 911 some 20 minutes after his kayak capsized. Witnesses say she intentionally capsized her own kayak, Mohl said.

    Graswald was rescued by another boater and treated for hypothermia.

    She later told investigators that she felt relief and "it felt good knowing he would die," Mohl said.

    The judge set bail at $3 million cash.

    After the hearing, defense attorney Richard Portale noted the language barrier between Graswald and investigators. He said he would look into whether her statements were voluntary.

    "I'm skeptical of the statements," he said.  

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