Family of Royal Caribbean cruise plunge baby release pic they say proves grandad isn’t to blame


THE family of a toddler who fell 150ft to her death from a cruise ship have released a picture they say proves her grandad isn’t to blame.

Eighteen-month-old Chloe Wiegand, from Indiana, plummeted 11 floors from the Freedom of the Seas, reportedly slamming into concrete below while the vessel was docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The little girl loved to bang on the glass at her brother’s ice hockey games
Doting grandad Salvatore Anello is pictured holding tragic Chloe Wiegand
Doting grandad Salvatore Anello is pictured holding tragic Chloe Wiegand
Today show
The girl fell from Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas ship and plunged 150ft onto the concrete dock

She was said to have slipped from her grandfather Salvatore Anello’s arms and cops have been quizzing him as they decide whether to file charges of negligence – or worse.

One officer yesterday said he couldn’t rule out police filing murder charges.

But the family have since hit back at suggestions the girl’s grandfather was responsible, instead pinning blame for the tragedy on Royal Caribbean cruise line.

Their lawyer Michael Winkleman insisted the doting grandad placed little Chloe on a railing, believing it to be behind glass.

But he said one of the panes of glass in the children’s play area where the family were gathered was not there.

Chloe loved to look through windows and would often bang on the glass while watching her big brother play ice hockey, the family revealed.

And they released a picture of the toddler leaning on the see-through barrier at a hockey rink to back up their story.

Winkleman said: “Essentially her grandfather lifts her up and puts her on a railing and where he thinks that there is glass there because it’s clear, but it turns out there was no glass there.

“She goes to bang on the glass like she would have at one of those hockey rinks, and the next thing you know, she’s gone.”

He added: “Why in the world would you leave a window open in an entire glass wall full of windows in a kid’s area?”

Salvatore Anello had to be sedated because he was so hysterical after dropping his granddaughter, reports claim
Chloe Wiegand pictured with her mum before the toddler’s tragic death
Family members were heard screaming in agony after watching little Chloe fall


Mr Anello and several other family members were so hysterical after the child’s tragic death plunge that they had to be sedated by medics, according to El Vocero.

Witnesses told how they heard the family, from Indiana, US, wailing in agony after Chloe fell to her death.

One passenger told Telemundo PR: “We heard the screams of the families because we were close.

“A cry of pain of that nature does not compare with any other cry.”

It is still not clear whether Mr Anello or anyone else will be prosecuted over Chloe’s death, with cops quizzing witnesses and reviewing CCTV before deciding whether to file charges.

Henry Escalera Rivera, Commissioner of the Police Bureau, told Prima Hora: “This is a process that is under investigation.

“We must wait to interview relatives and evaluate other evidence to determine if the filing of charges is appropriate.”

Devastated mum Kimberley Schultz Wiegand posted pictures of herself with her little girl on Facebook in the wake of the tragedy.

Friends and family paid tribute, leaving comments like: “Sweet angel. Praying for you and your family Kim.”

Another wrote: “You are loved. Praying for you and your family. I’m so sorry.”

A spokesperson for Royal Caribbean told Sun Online: “We are deeply saddened by yesterday’s tragic incident, and our hearts go out to the family.

“We’ve made our Care Team available to assist the family with any resources they need.

“Out of respect for their privacy, we do not plan to comment further on the incident.”

Heartbroken Kimberly Schultz Wiegand shared a picture after the tragedy
The girl is believed to have fallen from an 11th floor window
Police at the scene of the tragedy last night investigating another window. It is not clear exactly which one the girl fell from

Primera Hora

Police at the scene of the tragedy[/caption]

Primera Hora

The Freedom of the Seas ship was docked in Puerto Rico at the time[/caption]

Police have been interviewing passengers who witnessed the horror[/caption]

The girl was rushed to hospital but pronounced dead a short time later
Primera Hora
The Freedom of the Seas was launched in August 2005 and is the 15th largest passenger ship in the world
Primera Hora
Passengers aboard the vessel look over a balcony
Primera Hora

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