Grandfather of toddler who fell out cruise ship window charged with manslaughter

Authorities have arrested the grandfather of the 18-month-old toddler who fell out a Royal Caribbean cruise ship window during the Indiana family's trip in July.

Puerto Rico's Justice Department ordered the arrest of Salvatore Anello Monday for the negligent manslaughter of his granddaughter, Chloe Wiegand, according to NBC New York. Anello placed Chloe near an open window he thought was closed when her family said she fell out of a the ship's 11th story in July.

Image: Chloe Wiegand
Image: Chloe Wiegand

Chloe's parents, Alan and Kimberly Wiegand, said they didn't understand why there would be an open window so high up on the ship and that the cruise line created "a tremendous safety hazard that cost our child her life."

Chloe's mother defended Anello in an interview with Today, explaining that he often held Chloe up to the glass at her older brother's hockey game so she could bang on the glass. Kimberly Wiegand insisted that the grandfather has never put her children in danger.

"He was extremely hysterical,'' she told NBC News' Savannah Guthrie in July. "The thing that he has repeatedly told us is, 'I believed that there was glass.' He will cry over and over and over."

She said that Anello was extremely distraught over the accident.

"You can barely look at him without him crying," Kimberly Wiegand. "She was his best friend."

Royal Caribbean said in a statement at the time that it was saddened by the incident and working with authorities in San Juan in the investigation into Chloe's death.

Anello is being held on bond at $80,000 and is next scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 20, according to the Associated Press.

A representative for the Wiegand family did not immediately respond to a request for more information from NBC News.