Angelika Graswald speaks from prison about Vincent Viafore, who disappeared while kayaking on the Hudson River

By Diane Herbst
Updated May 04, 2015 10:10 AM
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New York State Police/LANDOV

Angelika Graswald, the 35-year-old New York woman accused of killing her fiancé, was a mixture of calm and teary as she told PEOPLE in a jailhouse interview Sunday morning that she did not have anything to do with his death.

Vincent Viafore, 46, she says, was a man she loved, with whom she had a simple European beach wedding planned for August and hopes for children.

But after the project manager from Poughkeepsie disappeared while the pair were kayaking on a chilly evening two weeks ago, the Orange County District Attorney charged Graswald with Viafore’s murder, citing inconsistencies in her story. Viafore’s body has not yet been found.

“I’m devastated,” says Graswald of her fiancé’s death. Viafore’s presence, she says, feels constant. “He’s always with me,” she says, “and he’ll always be with me.”

When asked to describe what happened in the water that night, Graswald declined to answer, saying she had met with two attorneys who may represent her and advised her not to talk about the incident.

Graswald tells PEOPLE that her problem is that she talks too much, and that when police read her her Miranda rights, she made the mistake of continuing to talk to law enforcement officials.

When asked if she felt police tricked her, she said: “Yes.”

Those who knew the couple don’t know what to make of the disappearance of the tall, athletic Viafore and are puzzled over the arrest of the petite Graswald.

“When I saw she got arrested, I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ “says Jackie Bracco, 43, a friend of Viafore’s. “Surprised. Completely surprised.”

Graswald met Viafore at a Poughkeepsie bar in September 2013. The pair immediately hit it off, and within weeks, they were living together. Five months later, Viafore asked for Graswald’s hand in marriage at a hibachi restaurant.

The district attorney has given the case to a grand jury. Graswald is due in court on Tuesday.

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