- The last image of Chloe Weigand before she fell to her death on July 7, has been obtained exclusively by DailyMail.com
- The 18-month-old girl is seen standing beside a kids’ splash pool on the 11th deck of a Royal Caribbean ship, wearing a cute pink swimming costume
- Moments after it was taken, Chloe fell through one of the sliding glass windows and died instantly as she landed on a concrete dock in San Juan, Puerto Rico
- Her distraught grandfather Salvatore Anello appeared in court this week charged with negligent homicide for allegedly dropping Chloe out the window
- Footage of the tragedy seen by DailyMail.com shows the moment Chloe fell, with Anello slumping to his knees and her mother recoiling in shock and collapsing
- Chloe’s police officer dad arrives and covers his face with his hands as he struggles to cope with what he’s seeing
- The video ends with Anello being led away by two members of staff, seemingly unable to stand or walk by himself
- Michael Winkleman, the attorney representing Chloe’s parents in a legal action against Royal Caribbean, said they are not prepared to make the video public
This is the final haunting photo of tragic Chloe Weigand taken just a few feet away from the spot where the angelic toddler fell 150ft to her death from a docked Royal Caribbean cruise ship.
The bitter-sweet image obtained exclusively by DailyMail.com shows Chloe standing beside a kids’ splash pool on the 11th deck of the Freedom of the Seas.
Wearing a white floppy sunhat, cute pink swimming costume and matching pink water shoes, the 18-month-old girl looks inquisitively at the colorful sculptures and spray cannons.
Moments after it was taken, Chloe tumbled through one of the sliding glass windows surrounding the ship’s H2O Zone and died instantly as she landed on a concrete dock in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Her distraught grandfather Salvatore Anello appeared in court this week charged with negligent homicide for allegedly dropping his adorable grandchild, who friends and family say he doted over.
Footage of the tragedy seen by DailyMail.com shows the moment Chloe fell, with Anello slumping to his knees and her mother recoiling in shock as she collapsed to the ground.
Anello, an IT worker from Valparaiso, Indiana, faces three years in prison if he’s found guilty.
‘They can’t do anything worse to me than has already happened,’ Anello told an NBC reporter, moments after Wednesday’s hearing.
It is not known who took the photograph although DailyMail.com understands that Anello was alone on the deck with Chloe minutes before the fatal July 7 plunge.
Her parents Alan and Kimberly Weigand have been steadfast in their support for the maternal grandfather, instead blaming and threatening to sue Royal Caribbean for ‘inexplicably’ leaving a window open in a family play area.
They maintain Anello lifted Chloe up so she could bang on the glass as she loved to do at her older brother’s ice hockey games, unaware the pane had been slid open.
Puerto Rican authorities say they plan to use a handful of eyewitnesses as well as on-board CCTV footage of Chloe going overboard to prove Anello’s guilt when the case goes to trial.
But attorneys for Anello say the exact same footage – taken from two separate angles overlooking the pool area – exonerates the grieving granddad and proves it was simply a tragic accident.
Michael Winkleman, a US-based attorney representing Chloe’s parents in a legal action against Royal Caribbean, said they are not prepared to make the harrowing video public.
But he did permit DailyMail.com to view the tape, which begins with Chloe leading her grandfather, wearing shorts and a T-shirt, away from the pool area seen in the photograph to the adjacent bank of glass floor to ceiling windows.
Anello can be seen moments later lifting Chloe up to give her a better view before he places her on a metal railing, still holding her with two hands as the pair lean forward to get a better view.
Three to four seconds later she vanishes through what is the only visibly open window in the entire bank of glass.
Anello looks down towards the dock below then slumps to his knees as staff and fellow passengers crowd round to help.
Chloe’s older brother is the next member of the family to arrive, and looks stunned and confused as he realizes what is happening.
Kimberly follows close behind, fighting through the crowd to gaze down from the window before recoiling in shock and collapsing in grief.
Moments later her police officer husband arrives and covers his face with his hands as he struggles to cope with what he’s seeing.
The video ends with Anello being led away by two members of staff, seemingly unable to stand or walk by himself.
He was quizzed by police in the hours after Chloe’s fall but left San Juan without giving a formal witness statement, blaming confusion, his extreme distress and the lack of an interpreter.
Anello voluntarily returned to Puerto Rico, however, when a judge issued an arrest warrant and he learned last month there was probable cause to charge him with negligent homicide.
Winkleman has accused Puerto Rican prosecutors of ‘pouring salt on the family’s open wounds’ by bringing a misdemeanor charge against him.
‘Had the cruise line simply followed proper safety guidelines for windows, this accident likely would never have happened,’ he said in a previous statement.
Chloe and her granddad had been about to embark on a seven-night Caribbean cruise with her parents, older brother, fraternal grandparents and Anello’s wife Patricia.
The fun-packed family vacation was supposed take in the sights of San Juan, St Maarten, St Kitts, Antigua, St Lucia and Barbados.
But the first signal their trip had gone horrifically wrong came at around 4:30pm on July 7 when passengers in a dining area overlooking a pool heard screams.
Chloe’s mom arrived moments later and broke down as she looked over the side and saw her daughter lying motionless on the concrete Pan American II dock below.
Doctors stationed on board the 15-deck ship raced to save the toddler but she was declared dead at the scene having suffered suspected blunt force trauma to her head consistent with a fall.
‘When they told me Chloe had died, I didn’t know she went out a window,’ Kimberly, 36, said in an interview with Today.
‘I just saw Sam standing next to the wall of windows, screaming and banging on it and there was like somebody trying to stop me. I just kept saying, ”Take me to my baby. Where is my baby?”
‘I didn’t know she had gone out the window. Then I looked over, and it wasn’t water beneath, it was concrete. To lose our baby this way is just unfathomable.
‘I never want another mother to have to experience what I had to, to see what I had to see or scream or how I had to scream.’
Forensic experts studied the boat’s windows, furniture and layout in the wake of the accident for clues as to how the child could have gone overboard.
They found the area had been busy but didn’t obtain any first person accounts, with fellow passengers seemingly distracted by the pool, drinks and vacation plans.
Officers did however obtain critical video footage from the Freedom of the Seas on-board camera system which was described as ‘definitive’ by police sources.
In the wake of the tragedy Anello was described by friends and family as a proud and loving grandparent who doted over Chloe.
Puerto Rican officials insisted a range of charges, from neglect to murder, remained in play but her parents said they didn’t blame him, insisting the cruise operator should be held accountable instead.
‘He was extremely hysterical. The thing he repeatedly told us was, I believed there was glass. He would cry, over and over,’ Kimberly told Today.
The couple said they intended to take legal action against Royal Caribbean, saying the firm was ‘obviously’ to blame for Chloe’s death.
‘There are a million things that could have been done to make that safer,’ added Chloe’s grieving dad Alan, 40.
‘Why on earth is a window open on the 11th floor without a screen or anything? Their answer was ‘we need ventilation.’
Royal Caribbean has described Chloe’s death as a ‘tragic incident’, refusing to comment further and referring inquiries to Puerto Rican authorities.