Indiana toddler cruise ship death: Tourists recall mother 'screaming in pain' as her daughter fell 150 feet from 11th floor
Many travelers in the Royal Caribbean cruise ship were left shocked when 18-month-old Chloe slipped from her grandad Salvatore Anello's arms and plunged 150ft from an 11th-floor window on July 7.
Now, days after the tragic incident, traumatized tourists have recalled that tragic moment when they heard Chloe's mother, Kimberly Schultz Wiegand, "screaming in pain" as her baby daughter fell from the cruise ship.
"We heard the screams of the families because we were close," A nearby passenger told Telemundo PR. "A cry of pain of that nature does not compare with any other cry."
The ship was docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico when the toddler fell directly onto the concrete below.
According to Puerto Rico Ports Authority spokesman José Carmona, the family had gathered near a dining hall on the 11th floor when the grandfather allegedly placed Chloe on the edge of a window sill, The Sun reports.
Officials are now trying to determine if the window had deliberately been opened by someone or was left unattended prior to the incident. Authorities are also checking the CCTV footage of the ship and talking to passengers who were present at the scene. They are yet to interrogate the girl's family.
"Police have now launched an investigation and are trawling CCTV of the ship. At this time (the Division of) Homicide is in place. It has not been possible to interview the family," Elmer Román, of the local Department of Public Security, said. "It is a very strong scene, very sad and tragic. At one point, one of her grandparents... in an act of games, exposes the girl to the void and falls out of his hands."
Chloe was rushed to a nearby hospital at around 4.30 pm local time but was pronounced dead shortly after.
Hailing from Indiana, the girl was on holiday with her parents and grandparents, as per local outlet Primera Hora.
At the time of the accident, the ship was concluding a seven-day Southern Caribbean cruise of Antigua, St Lucia, and Barbados.