Family of Toddler Who Plunged to Death on Cruise Ship Returns Home for Funeral

Toddler who died on cruise
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The family of the Indiana toddler who fell to her death on a cruise ship has returned home for the little girl's funeral. 

Chloe Wiegand, who was 18 months old, plummeted from an 11th-floor window to the concrete deck of a Royal Caribbean ship, which was docked in Puerto Rico Sunday. The family flew home Thursday with the toddler’s body to begin working on funeral arrangements 

Michael Winkleman, an attorney representing the family, is challenging Puerto Rican authorities’ claim that Chloe’s grandfather, Salvatore Anello, was holding her out the window on the Freedom of Seas when she fell. 

Winkleman said the family was in a play area on the ship circled by clear glass panels when the accident happened and that Anello lifted Chloe up to a railing he thought was behind glass but turned out to be open to the air. 

“Her grandfather thought there was glass just like everywhere else, but there was not, and she was gone in an instant,” Winkleman said in a statement 

Anello did not provide an official witness statement to Puerto Rican police before leaving the island. Winkleman said that, as far as he knew, Anello had tried to cooperate with authorities but the process was slowed by "translation issues," the Daily Mail reported

Chloe’s parents, Alan and Kimberly Weigand, also refused to give statements, saying they were not present when the incident happened.

Winkleman also said the family hopes to obtain surveillance video from the cruise ship where Chloe fell. 

No charges have been filed in connection with the toddler’s sudden death. 

Royal Caribbean has said the company is cooperating with the investigation

"We are deeply saddened by yesterday’s tragic incident, and our hearts go out to the family," the company said. "Out of respect for their privacy, we do not plan to comment further on the incident. No further details were released. The investigation is ongoing."

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