Daughter Of Indiana Police Officer Dies In Fall From 11th Story Of Cruise Ship
San Juan, PR – The 18-month-old daughter of an Indiana police officer fell to her death from the 11th story of a cruise ship on Sunday afternoon.
The tragic incident occurred as the Royal Caribbean ship “Freedom of the Seas” was docked at Panamerican dock II in the capitol city of San Juan, according to WTVJ.
Initial reports indicated that the toddler fell after her maternal grandfather, Salvatore Anello, lost his grip while holding the child out of a window, the South Bend Tribune reported.
But on Monday, a Port Authority spokesperson explained that the little girl was playing in the 11th deck dining hall area with her grandfather, and that she fell through an open large window pane.
The spokesperson said Anello had sat the baby on the window ledge prior to the accident, and that she fell out the open window after he lost his balance.
“Sadly, she died on impact,” the spokesperson said, according to the South Bend Tribune.
The baby girl is the daughter of South Bend Police Officer Alan Wiegand.
She was on a weeklong Caribbean cruise with her parents, two siblings, and all four of her grandparents when the incident occurred.
The family will remain in Puerto Rico until the investigation is complete, South Bend Police Sergeant Nelson Sotelo said.
He said that the family is “in shock,” and that they are working with police and trying to find security footage to help aid the investigation.
"The South Bend Police Department offers its sincerest condolences to officer Wiegand and his family during this difficult time following the tragic loss of their child while in Puerto Rico," the South Bend Police Department (SBPD) said in a statement. "The department asks the community to pray for the entire Wiegand family as they grieve and to respect their privacy."
Royal Caribbean Cruises said that the little girl’s death was a tragedy.
“We are deeply saddened by yesterday’s tragic incident, and our hearts go out to the family,” the company said in a statement to WXIN. “We’ve made our Care Team available to assist the family with any resources they need. Out of respect for their privacy, we do not plan to comment further on the incident.”