A woman was charged with murdering her fiancé after his kayak went overboard in the Hudson River

By Diane Herbst
May 09, 2015 09:20 AM
New York State Police/LANDOV

Could joyful pictures and videos posted to Facebook in the days after her fiancé disappeared during a nighttime kayak outing be a prime reason a kayaker is accused of killing her fiancé?

They are, according to the attorney for Angelika Graswald, who has been accused of murdering her fianceé Vincent Viafore after he disappeared during a kayak outing on the Hudson River.

“People [police and prosecutors] are unfairly judging her based on their perception of her conduct, that she was happy, that she didn t seem to care,” Richard Portale, the White Plains, New York, attorney representing Graswald, tells PEOPLE. ” That s when the police started to take notice of her.”

In the days after 46-year-old Viafore vanished when his kayak capsized on the Hudson River during an outing with Graswald in choppy, cold waters, the 35-year-old posted romantic photos of herself with Viafore and videos of visits to an animal sanctuary.

His body has not yet been found, but police said “some inconsistencies led investigators to be suspicious” of Graswald, and eventually she was charged with his murder.

“Who wrote the Facebook rulebook of protocol of what everyone’s post means,” asks Portale. “Why can t you view the post of her happy pictures as ‘I m okay. I’m dealing with it and I’m okay. ”

[IMAGE “1” “” “std” ]A call seeking comment from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office has not been returned.

Graswald is from Latvia, an eastern European country that was formally part of the Soviet Union, and Portale says her background might give insight into how she behaved following Viafore’s death.

“They are taught to be hard, not to show sorrow, weakness and she was doing all in her power to be that person,” Portale said of his client.

In exclusive interviews, Graswald has told PEOPLE she is devastated over Viafore’s disappearance and that she cries over Viafore s death while alone in her cell.

Graswald is expected to appear in court Tuesday for a bail application hearing.

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