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Woman Formally Indicted On Murder Charges After Fiance's Body Pulled From Hudson

GOSHEN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A woman accused of killing her fiancé during a kayaking trip on the Hudson River has been indicted on murder charges.

The indictment charging 35-year-old Angelika Graswald with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter was formally unsealed Tuesday, CBS2's Lou Young reported.

Crews pulled the body of Vincent Viafore, 46, out of the Hudson River near the Cornwall Yacht Club on Saturday. An autopsy is set for Tuesday.

"The decedent was recovered from the Hudson River," Orange County Sheriff Carl DuBois said Tuesday. "It was in about the middle of the Hudson River, right below Bannerman's Island when they first came in contact with it."

Authorities would not comment on the condition or the cause of death.

Viafore disappeared while kayaking with Graswald on April 19.

Graswald reported Viafore missing and claimed his kayak capsized in choppy water near Bannerman Island.

She spoke with News 12 Westchester shortly after Viafore's disappearance saying: "I saw him struggling a little bit. He was trying to figure out how to paddle the waves because they were getting crazy, and then I just saw him flip."

But prosecutors claim Graswald tampered with the vessel and made incriminating statements to investigators such as, "It felt good knowing he would die," CBS2's Matt Kozar reported.

Prosecutors allege Graswald removed the plug from Viafore's kayak and tampered with his paddle. They also said she moved his paddle away from him as he struggled to stay afloat in the 40-degree water and failed to help him.

Prosecutors said Graswald stood to benefit from Viafore's $250,000 life insurance policy.

District Attorney David Hoovler said he's not sure yet how the case will go forward.

"Intentional murder is an intentional crime," he said. "Manslaughter can be an intentional crime, or it can be a reckless crime. It gives you multiple theories to proceed with."

That means the state isn't sure if Graswald intended to kill her fiance or not, leaving open the possibility that once he got into trouble on the river, she just did nothing to save him.

Her attorney, Richard Portale, said the scattershot approach to the indictment tells him the case is weak.

"You would think that by now -- having indicted my client, filing the indictment, she's soon to be arraigned -- that they would have a theory on which they were going to prosecute her, but apparently they don't. They haven't made a choice," he said.

The DA has 30 days to outline the state's case against Graswald.

Graswald remains in custody. Bail was set at $3 million.

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