Repost- A Tragic Fall- The Preventable Death of Chloe Wiengard


Written by: Christina Aliperti

Update: Grandfather Sentenced To Probation For The Death Of Chloe Wiegand

UPDATE 2/8/21

Salvatore “Sam” Anello, of Valparaiso, Indiana was sentenced today (2/8/21) to three years probation. In October 2020 Anello pleaded guilty of negligent homicide in the tragic 2019 death of his granddaughter, Chloe Wiegand. Chloe’s parents sued Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and the civil case is still ongoing.

On July 7th, 2019, 18-month-old Chloe Wiegand was with her parents Kim and Alan, all 4 grandparents and her siblings on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, Freedom of the Seas. The ship was docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico when little Chloe was killed. Chloe fell from a window 11 stories high, onto the concrete dock below.

Original reports stated that her grandfather, Salvatore “Sam” Anello told Puerto Rico Police that he was holding Chloe out of a window on the ship when he accidentally dropped her. Early reports also said that Anello had refused a breathalyzer test after Chloe fell.

The initial reaction online, from most people, was sadness and an overwhelming amount of sympathy for Sam Anello and the Wiegand family. He would have to live with this tragic accident that he caused, for the rest of his life. This poor family had to now go home to South Bend, Indiana without their precious baby girl.

However, public opinion began to sway when less than 48 hours later, the Wiegand family hired attorney Michael Winkleman to represent them in a wrongful death lawsuit against Royal Caribbean. This lawsuit alleges the cruise line is at fault in the death of Chloe and claims that the window Chloe fell from was directly in a children’s play area and that Anello had no idea it was open.

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Royal Caribbean filed a counterclaim asking for the suit to be dismissed. They said they have solid evidence that proves that Sam Anello knew the window was open before Chloe Wiegand was dropped to her tragic death. Then, footage of the moment Chloe fell was leaked to a Puerto Rico News Show and it has been the topic of debate online ever since.

There are still those that call it a tragic mistake and accident but some say that Sam Anello was reckless and put Chloe in deliberate but unnecessary danger. They believe that he may have been very intoxicated when he lifted little Chloe over the railing and out of the window, 11 stories above a concrete dock. Either way, most people believe that it’s ridiculous for the family to sue the cruise line and directly blame them for Chloe’s death. One thing that is 100% clear is that Chloe’s tragic death was preventable. You don’t hold a small child out of any open window, you just don’t do it, and you shouldn’t need a sign to tell you that!

Fancy and Colleen discussed this case recently on our YouTube channel, Murder by Design, and we would love to hear your thoughts about it. Do you think this was a horrible accident or was it reckless negligent behavior by a drunk grandfather? Head on over to YouTube to share your theories and ideas with us. Be sure to subscribe and ring the bell so you don’t miss any of our videos.

And for more true-crime cases listen to our podcast The Good Wives Guide to True Crime at

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