Chloe Wiegand was just 19 months old when she passed away tragically and unexpectedly. The toddler was on vacation with her family when she fell out of a window of the cruise ship she was on and landed 11-stories on the deck below.
As Mamas Uncut reports, her grandfather, Salvatore Anello, was the person holding Wiegand up to the window when she slipped out of his grip to her death. Ever since the tragic accident, Anello has claimed just that.
The grieving grandfather has remained insistent that he didn’t realize the window he had put his granddaughter in front of was open. Wiegand’s parents and the rest of their family have remained in Anello’s corner since.
Months after Wiegand’s passing, her parents sued Royal Caribbean for opening a window and not labeling the deadly hazard. According to NBC News, the toddler wanted to bang on the window’s glass because it was something she was used to doing while watching her brother play hockey back at home.
When Anello picked his granddaughter up, putting her feet on the railing, Wiegand leaned forward to put her hands on the glass. Because Anello allegedly didn’t know the window was open, the toddler slipped from his grip.
Cruise Ship Claims Photos Show Salvatore Anello Knew Window Was Open
As NBC News reports, “Anello is color blind and couldn’t have seen that the window, part of a bank of green-tinted windows on the ship’s 11th floor, was open before he lost control of Chloe and she fell onto a deck below.”
However, now Royal Caribbean says still-images taken from security video on the ship that day prove otherwise. The cruise line’s court motion reads:
“When he arrives at the open window, and while Chloe is on the floor, Mr. Anello leans his upper-torso over the wooden railing and out of the window frame for approximately eight seconds. Because Mr. Anello had himself leaned out the window, he was well aware that the window is open.”
The motion continued, according to NBC News, “His actions, which no reasonable person could have foreseen, were reckless and irresponsible and the sole reason why Chloe is no longer with her parents.”
Anello has since been arrested and charged with negligent homicide. He was released on an $80,000. Anello has since pleaded not guilty.
According to a Twitter video shared by CBS News reporter David Begnaud, prosecutors have offered Anello a plea deal that will require no jail time but will require him to plead guilty to negligent homicide. It’s unclear if they will accept the deal or not.
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.