Emotional funeral held for Indiana toddler who died after falling 150ft from cruise ship; Pete Buttigieg attends
Chloe Rae Wiegand died after falling from the 11th deck of Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas ship on July 7
Pete Buttigieg and officials from the South Bend Police Department, Indiana, attended the funeral of the baby girl, who died after falling off the 11th deck of a Royal Caribbean cruise ship last week, on Monday.
We previously reported that 18-month-old Chloe Rae Wiegand was on holiday with her parents and grandparents on the Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas ship when the tragedy occurred. The ship had been docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on July 7, when the toddler fell through an open window while playing on the 11th floor and plummetted 150 feet into the concrete below.
Buttigieg, a potential Democratic presidential candidate, had earlier offered his condolences to Chloe's family after the news of her tragic death made the news.
"We are saddened by the terrible accident that took the life of Officer Wiegand’s young daughter, and the city is holding this family in our hearts," he wrote at the time.
Several officials from the department attended the funeral the baby, whose mother-- Alan Wiegand-- is also an officer of the South Bend Police Department.
The department had previously released a statement on Twitter following her death. "The South Bend Police Department offers its condolences to Officer Alan Wiegand and his family during this difficult time following the tragic loss of their child while in Puerto Rico," it read. "The department asks the community to pray for the Wiegand family as they grieve and to respect their privacy."
On Monday, July 15, during the little girl's memorial service at McGann Hay, Granger Chapel, all officers in attendance carried a carnation, according to WSBT. One officer was even spotted carrying a hand-drawn picture of Chloe.
The family paid tribute to the 18-month-old in an obituary, writing of how "her smile, beauty, and kindness changed every life she encountered" and how she "loved to give hugs and blow kisses, even to strangers."
It also described how she was a big fan of hockey and how her favorite player was her 10-year-old brother Wyatt. "She watched from the stands at countless games and practices and was everyone's favorite team mascot," the family wrote.
They said Chloe was "the smartest and happiest baby they had ever seen" and that she was "loved and cherished beyond measure every single moment of her life."
"This crippling and devastating loss leaves a void in our lives that will never be repaired," the obituary read. "We hold her in our hearts and memories and will continue to do so for the rest of our lives. The world was a better place because Chloe existed in it, even for a short time."
The family has asked that any donations in Chloe's name be directed to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit of the Beacon Children's Hospital where she was born, or to the USA Hockey Foundation.