According to police, 1-year-old Chloe Wiegand, from northern Indiana, died after the 11th story of a cruise ship moored in San Juan, Puerto Rico. But there are conflicting stories about how that happened.
Dwight Adams

INDIANAPOLIS – An Indiana couple whose 18-month-old daughter died Sunday after the 11th story of a cruise ship hopes to return home Thursday from Puerto Rico on a plane also carrying the body of her youngest child, announced a family lawyer.

Chloe Wiegand's parents, two siblings, and two grandparents planned to travel to their home in northern Indiana on Thursday to organize her funeral and bereavement, said Michael Winkleman, a Miami-based family lawyer.

"Their singular goal is to go home and start working on the funeral arrangements," he said Wednesday night. "They are absolutely devastated, I have been stuck in Puerto Rico for 72 hours and they absolutely want to go home as soon as possible so they can complain as a family."

He added that the family hoped that Chloe's body, which the authorities handed over to relatives, could also be taken into account on the return flight from San Juan to the United States, but he was still working on the red tape on Wednesday. to make sure that it can happen.

Winkleman challenged Puerto Rico police's Monday statement that Chloe apparently apparently slipped his grandfather's hands while he was holding her by the 11th-floor window on the freedom of the sea.

Winkleman said Tuesday that she had plunged into a window left unexplainably open in the children's playground. He added that the little girl from Granger, Indiana, was playing with her grandfather in the "Children's Water Zone" of the boat moored in Puerto Rico, when she asked him to lift her against a wall of windows lining the play area.

The girl wanted to hit the window "as she always did at hockey games of her older brother," said Winkleman Tuesday. "Her grandfather thought there was glass like everywhere else, but there was none and she left in an instant."

Winkleman said the window should have been closed securely and he felt the family could sue Royal Caribbean Cruises for civil damages. He added that the family was still looking for a surveillance video in the area of ​​the ship where Chloe was dead.

The Puerto Rican police refused to comment Tuesday on Winkleman's account of the events that led to the fatal fall of the child.

The police did not comment on Wednesday as part of her investigation into the girl's death.

Winkleman said the girl's father, Alan Wiegand, South Bend police officer in Indiana, was questioned Wednesday by police investigating the death of her youngest child. He added that other family members had also been questioned by the police on US island territory.

Royal Caribbean Cruises called the girl's death a tragic incident in a statement released Monday, saying it helped the family. The cruise company did not comment on Winkleman's statements about the circumstances of the girl's death.

Royal Caribbean Cruises spokesman Owen Torres said in a statement Wednesday that the company continued to assist local San Juan authorities in their investigation.

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