Former Oak Park residents Heather Mack, 19, and Tommy Schaefer, 21, were allowed to meet briefly Monday in a prosecutor’s office in Bali, the Associated Press reported Monday, after the Bali police finished their investigation of the Aug. 12 beating death of Mack’s mother, Sheila von Wiese-Mack.
Prosecutors in Bali have 20 days to file charges in the murder of the Chicago woman, 62, who was vacationing with Heather Mack and Schaefer at the luxury St. Regis resort. Von Wiese-Mack’s badly beaten body was found stuffed into a suitcase in the back of a taxicab at the hotel. Investigators said the group argued in the hotel lobby, and von Wiese-Mack was allegedly beaten in her room with the iron grip of a decorative fruit bowl.
Heather Mack and Schaefer were arrested the next day at a hotel near the airport.
On Monday, Mack, who is six months pregnant, told reporters she is expecting a girl and hopes the child can stay in Bali, so she can visit while Heather is in prison. Reports said the two embraced and Schaefer “stroked Mack’s belly several times.”
Mack and Schaefer grew up in Oak Park and both attended Oak Park and River Forest High School. Schaefer graduated and later attended Northern Illinois University and Columbia College. Mack did not graduate from OPRF.
Schaefer’s mother, Kia Walker, lives in Forest Park. An online fundraising campaign launched this summer for Schaefer’s legal defense was removed from the Youcaring.com website.
Von Wiese-Mack was the widow of Chicago classical/jazz composer and musician James Mack, Heather’s father, who died in 2006. Mother and daughter had a history of violent domestic problems. Oak Park police were summoned to the house 86 times between 2004 and 2012 for incidents ranging from battery to biting and scratching. Von-Wiese Mack also accused her daughter of stealing thousands of dollars in fraudulent credit card charges and sending X-rated photos of herself over the internet.
Von Wiese-Mack sold the family home in the 600 block of Linden Avenue to a developer in 2012 and moved to a Lake Shore Drive apartment in Chicago.
Her remains were returned to Chicago by the FBI, where her family held a memorial service at St. Chrysostom Episcopal Church in Chicago.