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Lawyer blasts charges in toddler's cruise ship death

The Freedom of the Seas cruise ship is docked May 11, 2006 in Bayonne, N.J. An attorney for an Indiana family whose 18-month-old daughter fell to her death in July from the cruise ship docked in Puerto Rico says the negligent homicide charges her grandfather now faces "are pouring salt" on the family's wounds. 

MIAMI, FLORIDA — A man from Indiana died after falling from the balcony of a cruise ship as it was returning to port in Miami on Friday, according to multiple reports. 

Carnival Cruise Line confirmed via email on Monday that a passenger on the Carnival Horizon died Friday. The cruise line said it was cooperating with the standard law enforcement investigation and was continuing to provide support to the passenger’s family.

Multiple reports identified the passenger who died as Brian Rice, a father of two from Brownsburg, Indiana. An online fundraiser organized to support his family says he leaves behind a wife and twin 3-year-old boys, as well as his parents and three siblings. 

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CruiseMapper.com reported that Rice fell from his cabin's balcony on the ninth floor deck down to the fifth floor deck as the cruise returned from a 6-day trip through the Caribbean. 

A spokesman for the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner's office told USA Today that Rice's cause of death was blunt force trauma injury and that it was not a suicide.

The incident comes months after a toddler from South Bend died after falling from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship docked in Puerto Rico. 

Chloe Wiegand was being held by her grandfather on the 11th floor of the Freedom of the Seas ship back in July when she slipped out of his arms and plunged to the concrete dock below.

Puerto Rican authorities charged her grandfather Salvatore Anello with negligent manslaughter late last month - a move that the family's attorney called "pouring salt on the open wounds of this grieving family."

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