Grandfather charged in death of toddler who fell on cruise ship in Puerto Rico

A man who police say dropped his young granddaughter from the 11th floor of a cruise ship docked in Puerto Rico in July has been accused of negligent homicide.

A judge in Puerto Rico on Monday ordered the arrest of Salvatore Anello after prosecutors submitted evidence and said the 2-year-old girl fell when he raised her up to an open window.

An attorney for the family has said Chloe Wiegand asked her grandfather to lift her up so she could bang on the glass in a children's play area. He blamed the cruise ship company for leaving the window inexplicably open.

An attorney said in a statement after the charges that the judge’s move is like “pouring salt on the open wounds of this grieving family.”

A prosecutor in Puerto Rico said in a statement obtained by WSBT that Anello, the husband of the maternal grandmother, “negligently exposed the girl “through one of the windows on the 11th floor of the ship” and the girl fell from 115 feet.

The family is from Indiana and was aboard Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas.


Anello is being held on $80,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 20.

The Associated Press contributed to this report