Denpasar. A young American couple alleged to have killed the girl’s mother and stuffed her body in a suitcase have been arrested in Bali, police said on Wednesday.
Heather Lois Mack, 19, and her boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, 21, were found sleeping at a hotel in Legian, some 10 kilometers from the St. Regis Bali Resort in Nusa Dua, where the body of 62-year-old Sheila Von Wiese Mack was found on Tuesday in a suitcase the couple had placed into the trunk of a waiting taxi.
Police said the couple put up no resistance when they were arrested, and were refusing to speak to investigators without a lawyer present.
The body was discovered by the taxi driver who had gone to pick up Mack and her daughter from the resort on Tuesday. When Heather and Schaefer failed to appear after loading the suitcase into the trunk, the driver reported the matter to the South Kuta Police, who proceeded to inspect the suitcase.
Mack’s body was found half naked, with several wounds to her head and indications that she put up a struggle before she was killed, according to Ida Bagus Putu Alit, the chief coroner at Sanglah General Hospital in Denpasar.
“Looking at the wounds, the victim must have fought back,” Alit said as quoted by AFP, adding that one of her fingers on her left hand was broken.
He said that several wounds to the head appeared to have been inflicted with “blunt tools.”
Mack and her daughter had checked into the upscale St. Regis resort on Saturday, with Schaefer checking in on Monday.
CCTV footage from Monday night showed Schaefer and Mack engaged in an argument in the hotel lobby. Security footage also showed the young couple fleeing by the beach the next morning after loading the suitcase into the taxi.
The hotel told AFP it was aware of the “terrible tragedy” and was assisting authorities in their investigation.
The US Embassy in Jakarta said in a statement that it was “aware of the death of an American citizen that took place in Bali and we understand that two individuals have been arrested in connection with the case.”
Additional reporting from AFP