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Jakarta Post

Dead body found in suitcase

  • Ni Komang Erviani

    The Jakarta Post

Denpasar   /   Wed, August 13, 2014   /  11:03 am

The dead body of a 62-year-old American woman, Sheila Weise Mack, was found in a suitcase on Tuesday afternoon. The police are pursuing an American couple, one of whom is the victim'€™s daughter, for allegedly killing the woman.

Police officers at South Kuta Police station were shocked when they found a woman'€™s body in a silver suitcase brought to them by a taxi driver at around 12 a.m. Tuesday. The taxi driver took the suitcase to the police station after two foreigners left it in the trunk of his taxi.

'€œWhen we opened the suitcase we were really surprised as we found a dead body. There was blood and wounds to her forehead,'€ South Kuta Police chief Comr. Gede Redastra said.

Based on a statement made by the taxi driver, I Ketut Wirjana, the suitcase was left by a couple at The St. Regis Bali Resort in Nusa Dua. At that time, he had gone to the hotel to pick up some guests. When he arrived at the hotel lobby, a man and a woman told him to open the trunk. They put in the suitcase wrapped in a white bed sheet.

'€œAfter they put in the suitcase, they went back into the lobby. They told me to wait. But after waiting almost two hours, they hadn'€™t appeared,'€ Wirjana said.

Wirjana said that he had asked the hotel staff about the couple. '€œThey suggested I take the suitcase to the police station as it was suspicious,'€ he said. The bed sheet covering the suitcase was spotted with blood.

The police immediately conducted an investigation at The St. Regis Bali Resort, questioning many witnesses, including the taxi driver and hotel staff. Footage of CCTVs installed around the hotel has also been examined.

Based on the investigation so far, it has been alleged that Mack was killed by Tommy Schaefer, 21, and Heather Lois Mack, 19, both American nationals. Heather is the victim'€™s daughter.

'€œWe suspect that Tommy and Heather are a couple and that they are the perpetrators,'€ Redastra said.

Redastra said that the hotel CCTV footage showed that Schaefer had argued with the victim Monday night. '€œWe don'€™t know yet why he killed the victim. But Tommy and the victim had a fight last night in the hotel lobby,'€ Redastra said.

The CCTV images showed Schaefer and Heather taking the suitcase from room 616, where the victim and her daughter had been staying for three days on vacation. It was reported that Schaefer arrived in Bali on Monday and was staying in a different room at the hotel.

CCTV images also showed the couple escaped from the hotel via the beach. '€œAfter they put the suitcase in the taxi, they met the hotel staff to check out. When there were told to pay the bill, they said they would go to the room first, but they never came back. That made the hotel staff suspicious. When the taxi driver asked about the suitcase, they suggested the driver take it to police station,'€ Redastra explained.

Denpasar Police chief Sr. Comr. Djoko Hariutomo said that police had coordinated with the American Consulate in Bali, as well as the immigration office to have the couple'€™s names flagged. '€œWe believe they are still in Bali. We have also tightened supervision at all of Bali'€™s gateways, including the seaport and airport,'€ Djoko said.

Djoko urged the couple to surrender and report to the police soon.

The body has been taken to Sanglah Hospital. '€œWe will demand an autopsy of the body. It is needed for the investigation,'€ Djoko said.

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