Desperate parents of toddler dropped to her death from Royal Caribbean ship say indicted granddad would ‘never harm’ her – The SunJanuary 28, 2020
CHLOE Wiegand's devastated parents have pleaded with Puerto Rican authorises to halt criminal proceedings against her grandfather.
Alan and Kimberly Wiegand say they know with "all their hearts" that it was physically impossible for Salvatore Anello to have been behind Chloe's death.
Salvatore Anello has been accused of dangling the 18-month-old from the window of a cruise ship before she fell 150ft to the concrete deck below.
In their own investigation into their toddler's tragic death they believe it was physically impossible because the gap between the handrail and the window would have required 'Sam' to be seven inches off the ground.
After learning the kids splash pool area where 18-month-old Chloe fell was about to be refurbished the Wiegand's investigators boarded the $800million ship to take documentary photos and measurements.
In an emotionally-charged statement shared with DailyMail.com, Alan and Kimberly said: "It shows what we have known all along, that Sam thought it was a wall of glass.
"We have never wanted charges filed against Sam because we know with all of our hearts that he would never put Chloe in harm's way.
"We will stand with Sam as long as it takes – but we cannot grieve as a family until the criminal charges are dropped."
The couple's plea refers to the findings of their legal team's unsupervised inspection of the Freedom of the Seas as it docked in Barbados on January 10.
We have never wanted charges filed against Sam because we know with all of our hearts that he would never put Chloe in harm's way.
They found that there was 13 different cameras overlooking the spot where Chloe and her grandfather were, but only two angles were disclosed to the authorities.
The couple have accused the cruise operator of creating a 'false narrative' and wrongly stating Anello leaned his head through the window.
The color-blind grandfather would also have needed extraordinary long arms to have dangled the little girl over the edge of the 154,000-ton ship, their report argues.
Mr and Mrs Wiegand have filed a civil lawsuit against Royal Caribbean for negligence.
Anello made his third court appearance today in San Juan and said nothing throughout the 10-minute Spanish-language hearing but listened to the interpreter as his defence lawyer, Jose Guillermo Perez Ortiz, asked for another month to prepare his case.
As he entered court a reporter said: "You knew the window was open, didn't you?", a comment he ignored.
Perez Ortiz told the court he plans to call two key witnesses, a specialist in recreating the scenes of accidents and a medical expert.
Brenda Quijano, a spokeswoman for Puerto Rico's Department of Justice, refused to discuss how many different camera angles would feature in the prosecution case.
The next hearing will be February 24, they do not expect a guilty plea from Anello who insists that he is not criminally responsible for Chloe's death.
He claims that he had no warning that when he lived her up to bang on the glass, like she did at her brother's ice hockey games, it would be missing.
He also says that he has difficulty telling the difference between tinted windows on the Freedom of the Seas and thin air because of his colourblindness.
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