NY Woman Accused of Fiance's Murder Admitted to Taking Out Plug in Kayak, Investigator Says

Angelika Graswald and her fiance were kayaking on the Hudson River last year.

ByABC News
June 6, 2016, 7:05 PM

— -- A woman accused of murdering her fiance during a kayak trip on the Hudson River last year admitted to an investigator that she took out a plug on the kayak that eventually capsized, another investigator said in a pretrial hearing today.

Angelika Graswald and her fiance, 46-year-old Vince Viafore, were kayaking on the Hudson River on April 19, 2015, when his boat capsized and he disappeared, authorities said. She was arrested and charged with second-degree murder a few weeks later, and Viafore's body was recovered a few weeks after that.

Graswald is also accused of second-degree manslaughter. She has pleaded not guilty.

She was in court today for a Huntley hearing — a court proceeding about statements that prosecutors claim an accused made — during which Aniello Moscato, a senior investigator with the New York State Police, was on the stand. Moscato, who had responded to the scene, said he didn't speak with Graswald that day but did speak with her over the next nine days, during which the two became friendly and he "felt for her."

On April 29, an investigative team arrived on Bannermann's Island — where Graswald was found by rescuers 10 days earlier — and Graswald said she would also be at the island that day to lay a memorial wreath for Viafore. Then the investigators retraced the steps of that day with Graswald.

While they were on the island, Moscato said, he and two other investigators asked her if she would be more comfortable talking to one of them instead of all three, and Graswald said yes. She spoke with investigator Don DeQuarto alone for about 40 minutes, and then she walked to the bathroom by herself, Moscato told the court. DeQuarto spoke with Moscato, he said, and told him Graswald said that there was a plug on the kayak and that she had taken it out.

Moscato said that as the investigators were taking her back to the state police barracks, they had engine trouble on the boat and as Moscato held on to Graswald, she joked about jumping overboard. She seemed happy-go-lucky on the boat ride back to the barracks, Moscato said, which he said seemed strange to him after what she had just told DeQuarto.

Also on the stand today was Officer Stephen Pedetti, who told Graswald's defense attorney Richard Portale that Graswald was calm and showed no emotion after she was rescued. Pedetti said Graswald seemed very matter-of-fact and didn't seem concerned, calling her "emotionless."

The judge has issued a gag order, barring the prosecution and the defense from commenting on the case outside court. Viafore's family members were in court today and declined to comment to ABC News.

The hearing is expected to continue Tuesday.