Woman walks out of jail over 2 years after fiance's kayak death: Part 1

Angelika Graswald had been accused of killing her fiancÃ??(c), Vince Viafore, in a kayak incident in April 2015.
8:08 | 02/16/18

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Transcript for Woman walks out of jail over 2 years after fiance's kayak death: Part 1
kingdom and an unforgiving river, with a mystery running through it. The woman at the heart of the case, the one they call the kayak killer, walks out of prison on a sunny afternoon four days before Christmas, 2017. Angelika graswald had been charged with the murder of her fiance, Vince viafore. She pulled the plug on her fiance's kayak and then watched him drown in the Hudson river. Reporter: Facing a possible life sentence. Until she was suddenly set free. Angelika graswald is out of prison tonight after serving just over 2 1/2 years behind bars. Reporter: Viafore's outraged family says it's not right. Four years for taking someone's life? No way. Smile if you want. It's okay. You can smile. Come on. Walk with me. Reporter: Outside New York's Bedford hills correctional facility, freedom and the media are waiting. We're not going to take my questions. Reporter: Her release sparking headlines. Although, for now, Angelika lets her attorney rich portale do the talking. She's grateful for this day. She's grateful to be able to breathe in the fresh air, walk in the fresh air. Reporter: We first met her in 2015 in the Orange county new York jail when she didn't know if she would ever again see the outside world. Tonight, we have a new interview under very different circumstances with questions she is only now free to answer. Why didn't you go right over to him and let him -- I couldn't reach him. Reporter: -- How co -- why not? You alright? Here's the good news, you're free. Reporter: "20/20"'s cameras once again following Angelika as she tries to revive her interrupted life. Driving away from prison, she reconnects with her younger sister back in Latvia. Ciao! Reporter: While she was locked up, she became an aunt. I love babies, they're so beautiful! Reporter: Angelika enjoys her first taste of freedom with friends. How does it taste? Delicious. Definitely better than jail food. Reporter: She borrows a guitar, strumming a metallica song. The tune is called "Nothing else matters." ??? an appropriate anthem for someone who just escaped a murder charge. ??? And nothing else matters ??? Angelika's odyssey begins more than two years earlier, when she and Vince embark on an ill-advised adventure. Not quite up the creek without a paddle, but close enough. The Hudson river snakes three -- 315 miles from the peeks of the Ed a radirondacks all the way down to New York harbor. Just before you reach the city, though, hidden between storm king mountain and breakneck ridge. You may spy a half forgotten place known as Bannerman's island, a deserted island, crowned by the tumble down ruins of a castle. I love that place, yeah. Reporter: Why do you love it so much? The history, the -- it's just beautiful. Have you ever been? Reporter: I have. I just love it. Reporter: Angelika graswald a native of Latvia, living in Poughkeepsie, New York, was drawn to the strange magic of the place, captivated by its eerie charm. You wouldn't expect a place like that in New York, you know? With a castle. Who expects a castle here? I come from Europe. There's castles all over the place there, but here, it's real. Reporter: Felt like a little bit of home maybe for you. Yeah. Somewhat. Reporter: If the island was Angelika's castle, Vince viafore was her knight. They shared a love of the outdoors and kayaking, which she says they had done together about a dozen times. We both loved the river. We both loved being on water. Reporter: What is it about it that's so alluring to you? Being down to the Earth, down to the water, good for pictures. Good forsets. Reporter: Vince's mother, Mary Ann, says Vince loved a good time. He's the guy who was the life of the party. He had these dance moves that everybody would get around him and cheer him on. What an awesome guy. Reporter: Why do you think the two of you clicked? We had a lot in common. He was, he was just like me. Very open, friendly. Um, risk-taker. He was adventurous. He liked living on the edge. Reporter: Both had been married twice before, but Angelika and Vince were ready to take the plunge again. We were gonna go to my country and get married on the baltic sea. Reporter: On the beach. Yeah. Reporter: Why there? Why not? Because my family wouldn't come here and I wanted them to be there. And we also wanted to go to Bannerman's island and take pictures there with the castle in the backdrop. Reporter: For your wedding? I just, I love that place, yeah. Reporter: And then one Sunday afternoon in April 2015, as traffic cameras confirm, they set off in Vince's white jeep for an adventure. Their first time kayaking to Bannerman's island. So it was his idea to go there that day. Well we both wanted to go. Reporter: You both wanted to go -- Yeah. Reporter: -- You both wanted to go to Bannerman's island that day. Yes. Reporter: It was a bad idea. Experts say their kayaks were wrong for the river, more suited for a lake or a pond. The water was cold, just 48 bone chilling degrees. And then there was the forecast. Do you remember what the weather was like specifically that day? It was a little cold. But it was, you know, it didn't look dangerous or anything. Reporter: According to the local news, a storm was brewing. Clouds will be increasing later this afternoon into tonight and then showers develop before dawn. Reporter: Angelika says as usual, Vince didn't wear a lifejacket that day, but she says he insisted she put one on. After a few beers, and couple hours taking pictures on the island, the sun is low. They hurry for their kayaks and head back across the Hudson. But Angelika says the river is rough, swamping Vince's kayak, pitching him into the water, dark and killing cold. Angelika says Vince yells at her to call 911. But I don't see him, oh my god. Can you see the kayak still? No. The kayak went underwater. Oh my god. Alright, we've got a boat in the water already heading down to you, okay? Okay. The water is very cold, I'm afraid he's -- oh my god. What made it so serious was the time of the year. Reporter: Jeff Schaack, in charge at a nearby yacht club, helped coordinate rescue efforts. It was April and it was cold out. I think he drowned, I need him to be rescued. Okay. Where did you guys go into the river? The boat is coming towards me right now. Reporter: Angelika's 911 call ends abruptly. Somehow at that moment she too capsized and went into the deadly cold water. Where did you guys go in at? Angelika? Reporter: A rescue boat quickly plucks Angelika from the river. What condition was she in? She was obviously cold, wet, uh, frantic. Reporter: But Vince had simply disappeared on that dark April night. Swallowed by the river he loved. It changes your whole world. Of course, you hope he made it to shore or he was unconscious somewhere. Reporter: Whatever happened to Vince, police quickly begin to suspect it may not have been an accident.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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