SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A man who police say dropped his young granddaughter from the 11th floor of a cruise ship docked in Puerto Rico in July has been charged with negligent homicide.
A judge on Monday ordered the arrest of Salvatore Anello after prosecutors submitted evidence and said 18-month-old Chloe Wiegand fell when he raised her to an open window.
An attorney for the family has said Wiegand asked her grandfather to lift her up so she could bang on the glass in a children’s play area. He blamed Royal Caribbean for leaving the window inexplicably open.
More: Parents blame Royal Caribbean for toddler’s death after 11-story fall
18-month-old Chloe Wiegand died July 7, 2019, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, after falling from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. (Photo: Photos provided by attorney Michael Winkleman from the Miami-based law firm Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman)
Authorities said the girl was traveling with her parents, two siblings and two sets of grandparents aboard the Freedom of the Seas, which docked in Puerto Rico in July after a weeklong trip through the Caribbean. The death occurred at the Panamerican dock in the capital of San Juan.
Royal Caribbean Cruises called it a tragic incident and said it was helping the family, who live in Granger, Indiana.
“We are deeply saddened by this incident, and our hearts go out to the family,” Royal Caribbean’s Melissa Charbonneau said in an email.
Wiegand’s family described Chloe as a happy, playful child who loved watching her brother play hockey and gardening with her mother. Chloe, her mom said, could make anyone smile.
Her father, Alan Wiegand, is an officer with the South Bend Police Department.
“We’ll never forget her,” Alan said during a July interview with NBC’s “Today” show. “She’s part of our soul.”
Anello is being held on $80,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 20.
Contributing: Vic Ryckaert, The Indianapolis Star
Toddler cruise ship death:Grandfather thought window was closed, lawyer says
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