UK & World News

  • 15 August 2014, 21:16

Chicago Teen Charged In Mum's Suitcase Murder

Indonesian police have charged an American teenager with murder after the body of her mother was found stuffed in a suitcase on the resort island of Bali.

Heather Mack, 19, was charged alongside her boyfriend Tommy Schaefer, 21, who was also in Bali.

The two, both from Chicago, were arrested this week after the body of Sheila von Wiese-Mack, 62, was found inside the trunk of a taxi parked in front of the St Regis Bali Resort, a luxury hotel.

The charges are based on witnesses and crime scene evidence, said Bali deputy police chief Brigadier General Gusti Ngurah Raharja Subyakta.

According to police, the couple hired the taxi and then placed the suitcase inside the trunk.

They told the taxi driver that they were going to check out of the hotel and would return.

But they never got back to the cab.

Hotel security guards noted blood spots on the suitcase and the cab driver went to the police, who then discovered the body.

The couple told investigators that Ms von Wiese-Mack was killed by robbers while they managed to escape, investigators said.

But CCTV footage shows that the victim had an argument with Schaefer on Monday in the hotel's lobby, police said.

An autopsy under way on Ms von Wiese-Mack's body showed there were signs of violence indicating the victim fought before she died.

"We found scars on both forearms and the broken left-hand fingernail," the head of forensics, Ida Bagus Putu Alit, said following an external examination.

"That indicated a resistance in a fight."

The suspects have been questioned by police but did not respond to many question, said Haposan Sihombing, an Indonesian lawyer assigned by police to the couple.

They have undergone psychiatric tests.

Ms von Wiese-Mack was the widow of highly regarded jazz and classical composer James L Mack of Oak Park, Illinois, who died in 2006 at age 76.