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A closer look at the grandfather in case of toddler’s cruise ship death

Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 5:22 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Sam Anello has undoubtedly experienced great pain and anguish after losing his granddaughter Chloe to a fall on a cruise ship in Puerto Rico—but he hasn’t necessarily done it alone.

Anello is perhaps known worldwide for the tragic events that took place on the 11th floor of a cruise ship in the summer of 2019, but he’s also known as an IT guy on the second floor of the County City Building in South Bend.

That’s where you’ll find the offices of the St. Joseph County Auditor.

“It’s a great family atmosphere here and Sam is part of that family,” said St. Joseph County Auditor Michael Hamann.

Anello has worked in information technology for the auditor’s office since May of 2017—before and after the death of his granddaughter Chloe, who fell out of his arms 11 stories to her death on a cruise ship.

“Sure he has his moments privately but you know while he’s here he’s steady as can be,” Hamann explained. “He’s been especially valuable during this COVID time, you know where we have so many of our employees who were trying to work remotely and Sam was endangering himself frankly out there on the front lines, going into these offices and working with people, and you know trying to take care of folks very selflessly.”

Anello was even working Thursday after earlier pleading guilty via video to a charge of negligent homicide in Puerto Rico.

“Yeah I mean, it’s not the end that we wanted, you know, that he wanted for sure. It’s not his desire, desired outcome for him. You know I’ve always wondered about the system down there. Who knows? It’s fraught with so many unknowns that, you know, it’s risky,” said Hamann.

Anello is scheduled to be sentenced On Dec. 10. He is not expected to have to serve any time in jail.

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