Indiana police attended the memorial for a toddler who fell from a cruise ship window
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Police in South Bend, Indiana, were among the mourners at a funeral service for the daughter of one of their own Monday.
Eighteen-month-old Chloe Wiegand died earlier this month after falling out of a window on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship, Freedom of the Seas, on July 7.
Several officers from the South Bend Police Department, where the little girl’s father is an officer, attended the funeral, CNN affiliate WSBT reports.
The department shared its condolences with the family on Twitter shortly after the tragedy was announced.
Multiple officers at the funeral carried carnations, WSBT reported. One officer carried a hand-drawn picture of Chloe.
The mayor and the St. Joseph County prosecutor also attended the funeral, WSBT said.
Chloe fell to her death from deck 11 of the Freedom of the Seas ship, while it was docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico, according to José Carmona, a spokesman for the local Port Authority. She had traveled to San Juan from the mainland with her parents, siblings and four grandparents.
Chloe and her grandfather, Sam Anello, were “in the water park on the ship, which is designed for the kids — kids are meant to be there,” an attorney for the family, Michael Winkleman, said last week. “And there’s a whole wall of windows. And the grandfather thought that this window was closed. It turns out, we’ve come to learn, that … passengers can open these windows.”
Winkleman said the child’s grandfather placed Chloe on the wood railing before the wall of windows, believing she would bang on the glass just like she does at her brother’s hockey games, “and the next thing he knows, she’s gone.”
Winkleman said that after speaking with the grandfather, who was “hysterically crying,” he believes the fall was a “preventable incident.”
The attorney pointed out that the Freedom of the Seas ship is an older ship and none of the newer ships have windows that can be opened in the same way.