An Indiana family was left in shock after their 1-year-old fell 11 stories from a cruise ship in Puerto Rico to the dock below.
Chloe Rae Margaret Wiegand was with her grandfather on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship when he was holding her up to an open window in the ship’s play area and lost his grip.
Although early reports suggested that the grandfather was dangling the child out of the window she fell from, the Associated Press is now reporting that the little girl accidentally slipped out of his arms.
“They’re in shock,” said police of Chloe’s family.
Passengers recalled the harrowing moment they heard Chloe’s mother’s tormented cries after her child fell to her death. A witness described to Telemundo PR what they heard:
“The screams of the families because we were close. I looked because of the mother’s cry. That tonality, a scream of pain of that nature, does not compare with any other scream.”
As Inside Edition reports, tourist on the ship said “the mother’s anguished cry did ‘not compare to any other scream.’”
Michael Winkleman, the lawyer for the grieving parents, told NBC News:
“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.”
According to Winkleman, Chloe may have been trying to bang on glass the same way she does at the hockey rinks where her brother plays.
The attorney asked:
“Why in the world would you leave a window open in an entire glass wall full of windows in a kid’s area?”
Chloe’s grandfather, Salvatore Anello of Valparaiso, Indiana, is still under investigation, but he hasn’t been charged.
Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas released a statement on Monday following the tragic incident and said they are “deeply saddened” by the family’s loss.