The family of baby Chloe Wiegand, who tragically died this Sunday after falling from the window of a cruise ship in Puerto Rico, has embarked on her return to Indiana and is now preparing the funeral of the baby of just a year and a half. "They are absolutely devastated," said Michael Winkleman, the lawyer who now represents the family.
The baby's parents, as well as her brother and both pairs of grandparents were enlisting this Thursday to return to Granger, their city of residence, and prepare the funeral for the little girl. The baby fell from a window located in a children's area on the eleventh floor of the Royal Caribbean company Freedom of the Seas ship, docked at the Pan American II pier in San Juan.
"Their only goal right now is to get home and begin their funeral arrangements," the lawyer said in statements reproduced by the USA Today newspaper. "They are completely devastated. They have been trapped for 72 terrible hours in Puerto Rico and are desperate to get home as soon as possible so that they can process their grief as a family.”
Until the time of their statements - Wednesday night - the girl's body was already in the possession of her family, who worked at full steam to ensure that he could be transferred with them on board the same flight that will take them from San Juan to Indiana.
According to multiple sources, including local police, the baby fell when she escaped from the hands of one of her grandparents, who apparently put her out of the window, which the family disputes.
Earlier in the week Winkelman communicated to the media the version of Salvatore Anello, 52, the baby's maternal grandfather, who is responsible for what happened. According to the lawyer, Anello explained that he and little Chloe were playing in the boat's "kid's water zone" when she asked him to lift her up to look out the window.
The grandfather placed it on the edge of the window and the girl wanted to "hit the glass like her older brothers do in a hockey game," said Winkelman. "The grandfather thought that there was a crystal like everywhere, but there was not and she left in an instant."
The shock of the family after what happened was such that both the grandfather and his wife, daughter, son-in-law and paternal grandparents had to receive medical attention by cruise personnel and were sedated, according to the newspaper El Vocero.
The defender of the Wiegand family alleges that in this case there was third-party responsibility and he has already threatened to do everything in his "power to make them guilty for what appears to be negligence."
At this point the family is looking for video from the security cameras where the incident occurred to determine what happened.
According to Winkelman, Alan Wiegand, the baby's father, was questioned on Wednesday by the San Juan police, the same thing happened with other relatives of the baby who were in said territory. The man is a detective with the police in South Bend, Indiana.
From the day of the incident, spokesmen for the Royal Caribbean company expressed their regret at the death of the minor on board one of their boats, avoiding issuing further comments.
Likewise, José D. Sánchez Marchand, sergeant of the San Juan Homicide Division, has exclaimed that in this accident there are "several possibilities" and that even "it could have been a homicide". "It could have been murder. It could have been an accident,”he explained. "We are in the first steps of this investigation. We have not eliminated any possibility.”
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