Couple held in Bali after American woman's body found in suitcas - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Couple held in Bali after American woman's body found in suitcase

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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The body of Sheila von Weise Mack, 62, was found in a suitcase at a hotel
  • Police are waiting on forensic information to determine the time and cause of death
  • Her daughter and her daughter's boyfriend have been taken into custody, police say
  • The couple say they were taken captive by an armed gang that killed the mother
By Roger Clark and Jethro Mullen

JAKARTA, Indonesia (CNN) -- An American woman and her boyfriend have been taken into custody in connection with the killing of the woman's mother, whose body was left inside a suitcase at a luxury hotel in Bali, Indonesia, police said.

The body of Sheila von Weise Mack, 62, was found with head wounds, stuffed in a hard-sided piece of gray luggage at the prestigious St. Regis Bali Resort on Tuesday, said Djoko Hari Utomo, the police chief of Denpasar, the capital of Bali. Police are waiting on forensic information to determine the time and cause of death.

Her daughter, Heather Mack, and the daughter's boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, were later found by police sleeping in a hotel room in Kuta, according to Utomo. Kuta is a town about 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the St. Regis.

Police have not named Mack and Schaefer as suspects, Utomo said. According to Indonesian law, police can keep the couple in custody for up to 24 hours before they are named as suspects. If named, they can be held up to 20 days.

Police said the couple told them that they had been taken captive at the resort Tuesday by an armed gang, whose members killed Sheila von Weise Mack, but they escaped, Trans TV reported.

However, hotel workers and the taxi driver who turned in the body to police gave a different version of events.

The taxi driver told police that Heather Mack and Schaefer hailed him at the St. Regis, placing one bag in the trunk, Utomo said. They then reportedly went back into the hotel and did not return.

After two hours, the taxi driver said, he entered the hotel and spoke to employees, who went to the family's rooms and found them empty, Trans TV reported.

When the taxi driver and a manager opened the trunk, they saw blood on the luggage and drove the car to a police station, Trans TV reported. Police opened the suitcase and found the woman's body inside.

Two smaller suitcases were found in the St. Regis' garden, both of which contained hotel towels with blood on them, according to police.

Police told CNN that the woman was from Chicago, according to her passport. CNN could not immediately confirm her place of residence.

The St. Regis is one of the most upmarket hotels on Bali, a popular tourist destination. Room rates at the resort start at $470 a night, according to its website.
   
 CNN's Roger Clark reported from Jakarta, and Jethro Mullen wrote from Hong Kong. CNN's Brian Walker contributed to this report.
   
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