The dedicated grandfather who was holding an Indiana toddler just before her fatal dive off the side of a cruise ship that was curdled back to the US today – after failing to give a testimony to Puerto Rican investigators.
Chloe Weigand was accompanied by grandfather Salvatore & # 39; Sam & # 39; Anello from her mother's side when she crashed from the eleventh deck of the Freedom of the Seas when it arrived in San Juan on Sunday.
Anello – who can still be accused of murder or neglect – attended a pre-arranged appointment at the Island Ministry of Justice on Wednesday, accompanied by a criminal lawyer from San Juan.
But a justice officer told DailyMail.com that, on the advice of his lawyer, the older IT employee from Valparaiso, Indiana, left the ministry later that day without making an official statement.
Puerto Rican authorities have not made any arrests about Chloe's death and there was legally nothing they could do to keep the family there once her body was released on Wednesday for repatriation.
Anello and his wife Patricia flew out early this morning and became sad and tormented this afternoon as they arrived at Chicago's H&A Airport.
Salvatore Anello, the devastated grandfather of the tragic Chloe Wiegand, arrived in Chicago today after he flew back from Puerto Rico after the toddler's death
Anello and his wife Patricia flew away early this morning and were evacuated and tormented this afternoon as they arrived at Chicago's H&A Airport
Chloe, 18 months, died after a fall from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Sunday
Chloe is supposed to have slipped out of her grandfather's hands before she fell through an open glass window on the 11th floor of the ship. The family said he had pressed Chloe against what he thought was a closed glass window, but when she leaned forward, she fell straight on
The window on the left is the one Chloe fell through on Sunday while being held against the railing by her grandfather. The others seem to have handles with which they can be opened. This photo was taken by Chloe's father after the accident
Alan Weigand, a 40-year-old police officer in the South Bend Police Department, and his lawyer-wife Kimberly, 36, flew back to the US on another flight.
A hearse and a police escort would meet them to guide Chloe & # 39; s body back to their home town of Granger, Indiana.
The couple had met Tuesday with Ministry of Justice officials and refused to testify in the same way and claimed that they were on a different part of the ship when Chloe fell and saw nothing.
DailyMail.com can reveal that they also had the chance to watch a & # 39; high quality & # 39; to view the last moments of their daughter captured on a camera on board – but were too distraught to watch.
& # 39; The family was asked to come to the Justice Department to talk about what had happened, but they decided not to do so because their lawyer told them not to & # 39 ;, said spokesperson Kelvin Carrasco from the Ministry of Justice.
& # 39; The investigation will continue. Maybe they will be asked to come again. & # 39;
The Weigands have retained criminal prosecutors in San Juan who have so far refused to speak to the media.
But Michael Winkleman, the American lawyer from the couple, went back against suggestions that the grieving family refused to cooperate.
& # 39; I understand that the statement they (the parents) made was & # 39; & # 39; hey we were not there & # 39; & # 39 ;. And further, they said, we are happy to work with you, but not now, & he said to DailyMail.com.
Gelukkig Fortunately, the lawyers they hired are very good and they actually let them go home for a few weeks so that they can mourn and let Chloë rest.
& # 39; They are expected to resume the investigation of the behavior of Sam, the grandfather, towards the end of the month. & # 39;
Chloe, who was 18 months old, had a & # 39; blood-curdling & # 39; hear shout when she fell, witnesses said. Her distraught grandfather, exactly with her, had to be sedated afterwards because he was so upset
Alan Weigand, a 40-year-old police officer in the South Bend Police Department, and his lawyer-wife Kimberly, 36, flew back to the US on another flight
This was the scene on the eleventh deck after the Sunday afternoon accident. It was taped to be investigated by the police
The window is displayed in an external view after the accident. The family says that her grandfather simply did not realize that he was open when he supported her
Chloe dumped 150 feet from the 11th floor of the ship onto a concrete jetty below
Winkleman said that, as far as he knows, Anello had tried to collaborate with researchers all Wednesday, but the process was disrupted by & # 39; translation problems & # 39 ;.
& # 39; I understand that he fully cooperated with them & # 39 ;, said the Miami, Florida lawyer who specializes in maritime lawsuits.
& # 39; I do not know if they have completed their investigation, but I am not there, so it is hard for me to stay exactly what happened and what did not.
& # 39; I think the key is that there is no cooperation, I just think it's a matter of timing. & # 39;
The attitude of the family is a disappointment for detectives and investigators from the San Juan police station who have yet to declare whether Chloe's dive was an accident, neglect or even a murder.
Officers could not find first-hand witnesses of her last moments when they boarded the Royal Caribbean ship worth $ 800 million that can carry up to 4,500 passengers last Sunday.
However, a source near the investigation confirmed that the whole incident was caught in front of the camera.
& # 39; The video is the key here. It is very convincing, & # 39; confirmed the source. & # 39; It is now in the hands of the Ministry of Justice, who make the decision about what to do. & # 39;
Chloe and her grandfather were about to embark on a seven-night cruise of their lives around the Caribbean with her parents, older brother, fraternal grandparents and Anello & # 39; s wife Patricia as the tragedy unfolded.
The Wiegand family accuses Chloe's death on the liner. A lawyer hired by the family revealed that Anello had placed Chloë on a wooden handrail to make her pound on the glass, as she did at the ice hockey games of her older brothers in Indiana, not realizing that the window is actually was open
Sergeant Jose D. Sanchez (photo) told DailyMail.com that it was premature to report the incident as an accident. He said that potential charges could be homicide or neglect. It could also be that no charges are being filed, he said, and refused to undermine the outcome of his investigation
It is clear that the couple were alone when she fell through an open window and dived 150 feet on a concrete jetty.
Chloe & # 39; s parents have yet to make a comment public, but Winkleman told DailyMail.com that he & # 39; 1,000 percent & # 39; used to be. Anello had no intention of harming his beloved granddaughter.
He said the older man in the few phone conversations he had had with Anello was distraught and & # 39; hysterically cried & # 39 ;.
Winkleman has stated that he is of the opinion that Royal Caribbean is to blame for having a window or a missing window in a child's tumbler without warning signs.
& # 39; He said he was holding her and that she wanted to be lifted and that she wanted to hit the glass as if she were doing it at her brother's hockey games, & # 39; Winkleman told Dailymail.com.
& # 39; He has taken over her. He thought there was glass and then the next thing is that he knows she's gone. & # 39;
Winkleman said that Royal Caribbean had so far refused to give him access to the video footage of Chloe who fell off the ship.
He said the San Juan police department had similarly refused to give a copy to the Puerto Rican lawyers of the family, which he refused to mention, citing a request not to disclose their data to the media.
Chloe & # 39; s parents had the opportunity to view the band privately, but they refused, he confirmed.
Anello said he had brought his granddaughter to the windows because she liked to hit the glass at her brother's ice hockey games in Indiana. He thought she also wanted to hit the windows of the cruise ship, but & # 39; before he knew it, she was gone & # 39;
& # 39; They were not ready to see it. I am very curious about the video because nothing will apparently be clearer to show what actually happened. & # 39;
Although the extraordinarily emotional case may still end in criminal charges against Anello, it seems almost certain that this will result in a lawsuit against Royal Caribbean, which has made only brief comments about the case that concerns the privacy of the family.
The Weigand party had traveled to Puerto Rico with the expectation that there would be a fun family vacation where they would see the sights of San Juan, St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Antigua, St. Lucia and Barbados.
The first signal that their journey had gone horribly wrong came around 4:30 PM when passengers heard shouts in a dining area overlooking a swimming pool.
Chloe & # 39; s mother arrived a little later and broke when she looked to the side and saw her daughter lying motionless on the concrete pan-American dock below.
& # 39; A scream of pain of that nature cannot be compared to another scream, & # 39; a fellow passenger told TV station Telemundo PR.
Doctors stationed aboard the 15-door ship raced to rescue the toddler, but she was pronounced dead on the spot because she had sustained suspicious blunt trauma in her head in accordance with a fall.
When the police probe was en route, the investigators boarded the ship in search of witnesses.
They thought the area had been busy but could not get first person accounts, with fellow passengers apparently distracted by the pool, drinks, and vacation plans.
However, officers got the critical video footage of the Freedom of the Seas that left for St. Maarten later that day and will arrive on San Juan on Sunday.
But Michael Winkleman, the American lawyer in the couple, dived back against proposals that the grieving family refused to cooperate
Freedom of the Seas cruise ship started its journey in San Juan in Puerto Rico
Forensic experts also studied the windows, furniture, and layout of the boat for clues as to how the child might go overboard.
It is possible that officers can board the boat again when it decides to travel to see if they can identify more eyewitnesses.
& # 39; There are various options. It could be a murder. It could be a murder. It could be an accident, & # 39; said Sgt. Jose D. Sanchez, Acting Head of the San Juan Police Department, earlier this week at DailyMail.com.
& # 39; We are still busy collecting forms, interviewing witnesses, and analyzing all evidence & # 39 ;, he added. & # 39; We have not excluded any possibility. & # 39;
The social media of Anello give every impression of a proud and loving grandparent diving over his grandchildren.
Mike Hamann, his boss in the IT department of St. Joseph County, told ABC 6: & Sal works in the IT department, he is a very valuable employee. Great, just would do anything for you. & # 39;
More support came from Scott Ruszkowski, head of the South Bend police, who told WSBT22 in Indiana that it was not true that Chloe was dangling from a window.
& # 39; The South Bend Police Department expresses its sincere condolences to agent Alan Wiegand and his family in this difficult time following the tragic loss of their child in Puerto Rico, & # 39; said the department in a statement.
& # 39; The department asks the community to pray for the entire Wiegand family while they mourn and respect their privacy. & # 39;
A spokesperson for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. told DailyMail.com: “We are deeply saddened by yesterday's tragic incident and our heart goes out to the family.
& # 39; We have made our care team available to help the family with the resources they need. Out of respect for their privacy, we do not intend to comment further on the incident. & # 39;
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