Heather Mack was arrested promptly after landing on the morning of Nov. 3 at O’Hare Airport, following her early release from an Indonesian prison where she was serving time for helping her boyfriend to murder Mack’s mother while on vacation in Bali in 2014.
The Oak Park native and her former boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, now face two federal charges for conspiracy to commit the murder of Sheila von Weise-Mack, according to a three-count indictment returned in 2017 and unsealed Nov. 3. The indictment also charges both with obstruction of justice.
The indictment accuses Mack and Schaefer of conspiring between Aug. 2 and Aug. 12, 2014 in both Bali and Chicago to murder von Weise-Mack. Mack flew to Bali on Aug. 2, 2014 and on Aug. 10 arranged for Schaefer to join her, the indictment states. That same day Schaefer asked someone identified in the indictment as “Individual A” for money to make the trip.
The following day, on Aug. 11, Schaefer exchanged messages with his cousin, Robert Bibbs, discussing how and when to kill von Wiese-Mack, according to the indictment.
Bibbs in 2016 pleaded guilty to helping plot the murder and was sentenced to nine years in federal prison.
Mack and Schaefer killed von Weise-Mack in a hotel room in the St. Regis Bali resort on Aug. 12, 2014, then stuffed the body in a suitcase. Their attempt to conceal the murder formed the basis for the obstruction of justice count of the federal indictment unsealed on Nov. 3.
If convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, Mack and Schaefer face a punishment of up to life in prison.
Mack and Schaefer were convicted in 2015 in an Indonesian court for the murder. Mack was sentenced to 10 years but was released last week from Kerobokan Female Prison in Bali. Schaefer is still in prison serving an 18-year sentence.
Shortly after being released from prison, Mack, 26, was deported back to the United States with her 6-year-old daughter, Stella, who was born in 2015 while the couple faced trial in Indonesia. Schaefer is Stella’s father.
Mack was arrested upon her return to Chicago, where she later appeared before a federal judge, who ordered her detained until another hearing set for Nov. 10.