A body discovered Saturday in the Hudson River could be the 46-year-old missing kayaker allegedly killed last month by his fiancee, according to a forensic specialist close to the case.
"We were informed that a body had been recovered from the Hudson River and that body was believed to be from Mr. Viafore," forensic scientist Michael Archer told NBC 4 New York.
Vincent Viafore has been missing since April 19, when his kayak capsized in the Hudson, about 50 miles north of New York City near Bannerman Island.
Angelika Graswald, 35, who had been his fiancee, has been indicted on a second-degree murder charge in the case. Archer works for attorneys representing Graswald.
"It is my understanding that the body located today was found in the general vicinity where Mr. Viafore went missing," Archer said, "and from various media reporting, the police have said that the clothing on the person found match what Mr. Viafore was last seen wearing."
The body was found near the Cornwall Yacht Club, about a mile south of where Viafore's kayak capsized. A medical examiner is attempting to determine the identity of the body.
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 Wednesday.
Viafore, 46, was not wearing a life jacket.
Assistant District Attorney Julie Mohl said at a bail hearing Wednesday that Graswald felt trapped and stood to benefit by $250,000 from 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.