Official: Girl's death probe includes cruise line scrutiny

FILE - This May 11, 2006 file photo shows the Freedom of the Seas cruise ship docked in Bayonne, N.J. Police in Puerto Rico say that on Sunday, July 7, 2019, a toddler apparently slipped from her grandfather's hands and fell to her death on this cruise ship, Freedom of the Seas, while docked in Puerto Rico. (AP Photo/Mike Derer, File)

INDIANAPOLIS — Authorities investigating an 18-month-old Indiana girl's fatal fall from an open window on a cruise ship in Puerto Rico said Thursday they are considering many options, including the culpability of the cruise line.

As Chloe Wiegand's family accompanied the toddler's body home to Indiana, Puerto Rico's Public Security Secretary Elmer Román said "multiple angles" are being looked at in her death, including possible negligence by Royal Caribbean Cruises.

"That is part of the investigation. Once the result is determined, we will report," Román said, adding that exploring numerous possibilities is "part of the process" in such investigations.

Attorney Michael Winkleman has challenged a Puerto Rico police report that Chloe apparently slipped from her grandfather's hands Sunday as he held her out of an 11th-story window on the Freedom of the Seas. He has said she fell from a window that was inexplicably left open in a children's play area.

Winkleman said Chloe's family flew Thursday morning from the U.S. island territory to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and boarded a flight to Chicago with the toddler's body. He didn't say which of the girl's relatives were on the flights. Chloe had been on the cruise with her parents, two siblings and her two sets of grandparents.

A hearse with a police escort was set to take them to their home in Granger, Indiana. Chloe's father is police officer in nearby South Bend.

"The family is relieved to be heading home so that they can grieve as a family and begin funeral preparations," Winkleman said in a statement. "The boundless positive thoughts and prayers they've received have been a ray of hope in this difficult time."

Román said he didn't know if the child's parents had been interviewed as part of the investigation, but said they were free to leave Puerto Rico. He said prosecutors have interviewed the grandparents.

The Associated Press left a message Thursday seeking comment from the cruise line.

Winkleman has said the window should have been closed securely and that he sees grounds for the family to file a civil lawsuit against Royal Caribbean Cruises.

The cruise line said Wednesday that it is assisting San Juan authorities in their investigation. The company called the girl's death a tragic incident in a statement Monday and said it was helping the family.

__

John Rice in Mexico City contributed to this report.

People also read these

Slain runner from NYC laid to rest in...

Aug 16, 2016

A New York City woman killed while out running near her mother's Massachusetts home was remembered...

'American Horror Story' coming to Halloween...

Aug 17, 2016

The ghosts, vampires and other freaky misfits from "American Horror Story" are coming to Universal...

Target cuts outlook as it sees fewer customers in...

Aug 17, 2016

Target cut its profit forecast and a key sales outlook amid stiffer competition and its own...

Sanders' wife defends non-disclosure, vacation...

Aug 18, 2016

Sen. Bernie Sanders has pushed hard for transparency on U.S. trade and campaign finance, but has...

Chickens flock back to state fairs after bird flu...

Aug 20, 2016

Chickens and other poultry are flocking back to state fairs after a one-year absence due to a bird...

In Daily Travelogue, we aim to provide rich content for the budget traveler. We only publish blog post that is informative and entertaining to add value to our readers’ user experience.

Contact us: sales[at]dailytravelogue.com