Chicago area woman found dead in suitcase in Bali - FOX 32 News Chicago

Chicago area woman found dead in suitcase in Bali

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(Photo courtesy of the Chicago Sun-Times) (Photo courtesy of the Chicago Sun-Times)
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - The body of a 62-year-old Chicago woman was found stuffed inside a suitcase on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, and police have arrested her daughter and her daughter's boyfriend in relation to the death.

Sheila Von Wiese-Mack's body was found Tuesday inside the trunk of a taxi parked in front of an exclusive hotel in Bali's Nusa Dua area.

Officials say Mack's 19-year-old daughter, Heather Louis Mack, and her 21-year-old boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, were arrested Wednesday. Police say the two had stayed in the same hotel as the victim. Mack and her daughter took a trip to the resort, and Schaefer joined them Monday.

SEE RELATED: Daughter in custody in connection with mother's death in Bali

Heather and Shaefer are believed to have placed the suitcase in the taxi. Officials say the pair told the driver of the taxi that they needed to check out of the hotel. They then went back inside and never returned. After two hours, hotel security guards found blood on the suitcase and called police.

The couple was arrested at another hotel 6 miles away. The police chief says the two were being questioned, but refused to talk until being joined by attorneys.

FOX 32'S Larry Yellen has learned that a little more than two weeks ago, Mack filed a complaint for disorderly conduct against Schaefer. She alleged that Schaefer and her daughter had booked a room at the Conrad Hilton using her credit card without her permission. When police showed up, Shaefer became unruly and was arrested, according to documents.

A few days before the murder, Schaefer posted on social media that he was leaving August 4 for Indonesia and might not come back.

It appears Mack was badly beaten before her body was stuffed in the suitcase. Her body was being autopsied at a hospital in Denpasar.

Footage shows the victim had an argument with Schaefer on Monday in the hotel's lobby, officials say.

FOX 32 News has learned the woman and her family used to live in Oak Park, until they sold their home and moved into the city. Heather and Schaefer went to Oak Park and River Forest High School, and friends said they had been dating since June. Former neighbors in the area say they are shocked by news of the gruesome murder.

Mack reportedly used to be married to James Mack, a late Chicago composer and conductor who died in 2006. Mack apparently worked for a number of famous people, including Ramsey Lewis. Friends of the family say Mack was active in the arts and traveled often.

"You would see her at concerts, lectures. I know she had a very active arts life downtown too, attending events," Mack's former Oak Park neighbor told FOX 32.

Schaefer's long time friends, though, told FOX 32 News he's not a cold blooded killer.

"This morning I woke up to the shocking news about the whole thing and was actually shocked, and it kinda hit me more than I thought," said Taurean Barber.

"And then when I turned on my phone it was all over Facebook, all over Instagram, shocked, I still can't believe it, actually," said Javan Ragin.

But there was a history of problems between Heather and her mother when they lived in their Oak Park home. Police say they had responded to calls there 86 times for domestic issues.

And Heather had left a cryptic message on her Instagram feed which read: "I refuse to let someone say what i can do gettin money my attitude you know what i do"

Despite the arrests, Schaefer's friends hope for the best.

"Let's just stop the conclusions, stop the assumptions until you know we get all the information we can, and we we're gonna see what happens. Hopefully he's innocent, but if he did it, I'm sorry that, you gotta face the penalty," Barber added.

FOX 32's Craig Wall, Larry Yellen and the Associated Press contributed to this story.

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