A few months ago, the whole world was rocked by the awful story of the adorable toddler who fell to her death from a cruise liner, when under care of her grandfather.

And now the devastated grandparent, Salvatore Anello, has been charged with negligent homicide.

A judge has ordered the arrest of Mr. Anello after prosecutors submitted evidence and said the 18-month-old Chloe Wiegand had fallen when he raised her up to an open window.

Chloe died when she plunged off the upper deck of a cruise ship while her grandfather was reportedly dangling her near the window on the 11th floor of Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas. The ship was docked in docked in Puerto Rico at the time.

The attorney representing the Wiegand family, Michael Winkleman, said that the tragedy unfolded after Chloe asked her grandfather to lift her up so she could bang on the glass in a children’s play area

“Chloe wanted to bang on the glass like she always did at her older brothers’ hockey games,” Mr Winkleman said in a statement. “Her grandfather thought there was glass just like everywhere else, but there was not, and she was gone in an instant.”

The Cruise Ship Company Is To Blame

Mr. Winkleman has cast blame on the cruise ship company for the window being open.

“How about a warning, how about a sign, how about something?” he said earlier this year. “When you put it in a kids’ play area, you gotta do something to let people know that these can be opened so things like this don’t happen.”

Kimblerly Wiegand, Chloe’s mum, spoke to NBC saying: “I didn’t know that she went out a window. And I just kept saying, ‘Take me to my baby. Where’s my baby?’ I didn’t even notice a window. I ran over there and I looked over and it wasn’t water down there, it was concrete. To lose our baby this way is just unfathomable.”

A Royal Caribbean spokesperson had previously told CBS News that they are deeply saddened by the “tragic accident” and its “heart goes out to the family.”

Mr Anello is being held on an AUD$116,000 bond and is due to appear in court 20 November.

What an awful time for the family. Share your comments below.

More on Mouths of Mums


  • very sad for all involved


  • this is a family that will never heal from this tragedy – bit odd though that you wouldn’t realise there was no glass there if your standing right in front of it!


  • Just heart wrenching


  • He will have to live with this for the rest of his life. I’m sure he loved her very much and it was a careless accident. My heart goes out to all of the family


  • So sad to hear this.


  • This is very sad. I’m sure the Grandfather will feel awful for the rest of his life without having to be charged with her death. Accidents happen within seconds.


  • It is very sad and traumatising but the Grandfather shouldn’t be dangling a small child.


  • So sad and tragic. That grandfather is already wracked with guilt and self loathing I imagine, I am not sure charging him is the right thing to do but this seems to be indicative of the world we live in these days.


  • Oh dear, this is very sad


  • reading this i have tears in my eyes. very sad for the family. I agree that everyone needs to be careful but why was the window in the kids area open at all?? safety protocol!


  • I felt sick reading this story, what a horrible thing to happen. It would have been devastating for the family and awful for others to witness. It should have been declared an accident and the grandfather should not have been charged. The cruise company shouldn’t be blamed either! They may not have opened the window, it could have been a passenger and to say everything should have a label or warning is ridiculous.


  • What an absolute tragedy. As if they aren’t suffering enough without the Grandfather being charge. Just terrible. The cruise ship is negligent. This is so unfair.


  • It’s very sad I think he’s been punished enough already it was obviously an accident.


  • Whatever the exact details, this is terribly sad !


  • This is so tragic. Thoughts are with the family x


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