Harrowing footage showing the moments before toddler Chloe Wiegand fell from her death while on-board a Royal Caribbean cruise ship has been released by Puerto Rican TV show La Comay.
The footage, which appears to be captured by CCTV on-board the ship, shows the agonising moment Chloe's grandfather, Salvatore Anello, slumps to the ground after dropping the toddler from the cruise ship window.
The IT worker from Valparaiso in Indiana is facing three years in jail if he is found guilty of negligent homicide in the death of the 18-month-old.
Mr Anello was on the 11th floor of the Freedom Of The Seas cruise ship with Chloe on July 7 when it was docked.
The footage shows the grandfather follow Chloe to the window and appear to pick her up before she plunges 46 metres from an opening near a children's play area
The grainy surveillance video of the tragedy was leaked to a Puerto Rican TV show that aired it Tuesday night. Mr Anello has always claimed he thought the window was closed, but prosecutors believe he was reckless.
Mr Anello's defence team claim Chloe wanted to bang on the glass, like she did while watching her brother play hockey, but instead fell through as the sliding window was open.
The grandfather's family hit out at the airing of the footage, claiming it was "deplorable and disgraceful misconduct" for the video to be released.
"The family is shocked by the deplorable and disgraceful misconduct that led to the release of this footage," a statement read.
• Toddler cruise ship death: Parents sue company
• Grandfather charged after toddler's fatal fall from cruise ship
• Family of toddler who fell to her death from cruise ship blame the liner over open window
• 'Wall of windows': Crime scene shows how toddler plunged to her death on-board cruise ship
"The family's sole motivation for not releasing the video was to protect their older child. That motivation has not changed. The family publicly asks the Puerto Rican authorities, why was this footage released? Why do you continue to inflict such heinous emotional distress on our family?
"Haven't we been punished enough by the loss of Chloe? Finally, the family requests an immediate, independent investigation done into the circumstances surrounding the leak."
On Tuesday, Mr Anello appeared in court in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he was offered a homicide charge plea deal.
But instead, he and his legal team rejected the offer after prosecutor Ivete Niees said they formally approached Mr Anello.
Mr Anello's defence lawyer Jose Perez told ABC news: "The parties have talked about an agreement in general terms but nothing specific and nothing in paper.
"He is firm that he is innocent."
Mr Anello's family has remained supportive of him – 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 Wiegand as well as her grandparents, including Mr Anello.
The family was reportedly so hysterical after the tragic fall that they had to be sedated by medics.
In November, the grieving grandfather broke his silence when he did a sit-down interview with CBS This Morning News.
Mr Anello told David Begnaud that he was colourblind and the condition could have contributed to him not realising the window was open when she fell through.
"I was just standing there, and then I just remember screaming that I thought there was glass," Mr Anello said during the interview.
"Some of the people who've been on the boat have written to me and said, 'David, the windows are tinted, and so it is pretty easy to recognise that it's open'," Begnaud said.
"I am colourblind," Mr Anello said. "I've been told that that might be some reason, but I'm not the expert on that."
Chloe's parents blame Royal Caribbean and last week filed a lawsuit alleging the cruise line failed to "provide reasonably safe children entertainment areas including reasonably safe windows".
Mr Anello will next appear in court on January 27, 2020.