PUERTO RICO – In a tragic accident, the 1-year-old daughter of an Indiana police officer fell to her death on a cruise ship while it was stationed in Puerto Rico, authorities confirmed.
The young girl was on a trip with her parents and her grandparents when the horrific incident occurred. According to reports, the child was playing with her grandfather on the pool level of the Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas when investigators say she fell from a window, according to the Puerto Rico Department of Public Safety.
The cruise ship was docked at the Pan American dock in San Juan at the time. More details of the tragedy are still being investigated, but authorities are reportedly looking at the grandfather’s potential role in the fatal fall.
CBS News reported Tuesday that the 1-year-old girl’s grandfather may have lost his grip while holding her near a window on the ship.
And he might face charges of neglect.
“Puerto Rican safety officials tell a local newspaper that detectives are gathering evidence and trying to determine whether to file negligence charges against the grandfather who has been identified as Salvatore Anello, an IT worker in South Bend, Indiana. Anello’s boss told CBS affiliate WSBT he is a model employee.”
“People just love him here in the county,” Mike Hamann said. “He’s a very selfless man, he’s got a servant’s heart, as we say. And just one of the most wonderful human beings that you could ever meet.”
Now the family is in need of urgent prayers and support.
The girl’s father was identified as Officer Alan Wiegand. Wiegand works for the South Bend Police in Indiana. The department issued a public statement after news of the incident spread online. They urged for the community to pray for the family as well as give them time to grieve during their loss.
“The South Bend Police Department offers its sincerest condolences to Officer Alan Wiegand and his family during this difficult time following the tragic loss of their child while in Puerto Rico. The department asks the community to pray for the entire Wiegand family as they grieve and to respect their privacy.”
The communications department for Royal Caribbean also issued a statement following the tragic accident.
“We are deeply saddened by yesterday’s tragic incident, and our hearts go out to the family,” Communications Director We’ve made our Care Team available to assist the family with any resources they need. Out of respect for their privacy, we do not plan to comment further on the incident.”
This story is developing. Law Enforcement Today will continue to bring you updated information as more details are publicly released.