Grieving parents stand by cruise death grandad
Chloe Wiegand's grieving family have vowed to stand by her grandad after he was charged for letting her fall 45 metres from a cruise ship window.
Salvatore Anello could face up to six years in jail after a judge ordered his arrest on Monday over the death of the two-year-old.
But his family have thrown themselves behind him - and vowed to sue cruise operator Royal Caribbean for negligence.
Little Chloe plunged from an open window near a children's play area after being lifted onto a railing by her grandad in July.
The family's lawyer Michael Winkleman told DailyMail.com he believed the charges had an ulterior motive.
"I don't have any evidence to support this, it is just my working theory," he said.
"But what surprised me is that there was an effort to try to have this case go forward in an effort to try to help Royal Caribbean."
Her grieving family, of South Bend, Indiana, have blamed cruise operator Royal Caribbean for leaving the window inexplicably open.
They have also remained supportive of Mr Anello - releasing a photo of Chloe banging on the glass at an ice hockey game to show how she loved to do so.
Chloe had been travelling with her parents Alan and Kimberly Schultz Weigand as well as her grandparents, including Mr Anello.
The family were reportedly so hysterical after the tragic July 7 fall that they had to be sedated by medics.
One passenger on the 4000-capacity ship said: "We heard the screams of the families because we were close.
"A cry of pain of that nature does not compare with any other cry."
Devastated mum Kimberley posted pictures of herself with her little girl on Facebook in the wake of the tragedy.
Heartbroken friends and relatives paid tribute, with one writing: "Sweet angel. Praying for you and your family Kim."
Another wrote: "You are loved. Praying for you and your family. I'm so sorry."
Royal Caribbean said at the time of the tragedy: "We are deeply saddened by yesterday's tragic incident, and our hearts go out to the family."
Mr Anello is being held on $80,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on November 20.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission