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Death of a cruise ship: Blames an infant's grandfather who fell out of the window and "poured salt" on the family's wounds, a lawyer says



The grandfather of a young child who died after falling 11 stories out of a window on a cruise ship in Puerto Rico has been charged with her death. Chloe Wiegand, 18, fell in July when her grandfather Salvatore "Sam" Anelo lifted her to an open window.

Anelo was handcuffed on Monday and escorted by Puerto Rican police after being accused of negligent homicide. He was released on a $ 80,000 bond.

Police hold him responsible for his granddaughter's death, but the family blames the cruise line for the tragedy, CBS News correspondent Jerica Duncan reports.

"They find it unnecessary and unfair. It really pours salt on the open wounds of this grieving family," said Michael Winkelman, a lawyer for the family.

Weiganders say that the 1

8-month-old loved to hit his brother's cup of hockey games. So her grandfather sat her down on a wooden rail in front of what he apparently thought was a wall of closed glass windows. But a window in the children's play area was opened and Chloe fell out of the arms of Anelo from the 11th story of the Freedom of the Sea cruise, operated by Royal Caribbean International.

"If Royal Caribbean was simply following the rules and regulations that were created precisely to prevent children from falling out of windows, we would not be talking about any of this," says Winkleman.

Anello works in IT in South Bend, Indiana.

"People just love him here in the county," said his boss, St. Joseph County Auditor Mike Haman.

Haman describes Anelo as a selfless person. "As we say, he has a servant's heart. And just one of the most wonderful human beings you could ever meet," Haman said.

Chloe travels with her father, Alan Wigand, who is from South Bend, Indiana, a police officer, as well as her mother, Kimberly Wigand, her siblings, and two groups of grandparents.

"I mean, you can barely watch him without him crying. She was his best friend," Alan Wiegand told Anelo.

In July, Chloe's parents told NBC News that they wanted Royal Caribbean to be held accountable and protect Anelo.

"He was extremely hysterical," says Kimberly Viengang. "What he repeatedly tells us is, 'I believed there was glass.' He will cry again and again. Sam has never put our children in danger. "

Winkleman stated that Royal Caribbean did not give them the opportunity to see video surveillance of the incident. He said they intended to bring a case soon.

Royal Caribbean told CBS News that it was a tragic incident and turned around to authorities for additional comment, but authorities do not respond immediately.

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved.


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