The moment Heather Mack, 26, landed at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport after being released from an Indonesian prison for serving a seven-year sentence for the killing of her mother, FBI agents immediately took her into federal custody, NBC Chicago reports.
Mack was accused of plotting with her then-boyfriend Tommy Schaefer and his cousin, Robert Bibb, to kill her mother, Sheila von Wieser-Mack, at a luxury St. Regis Bali Resort, a recently unsealed U.S. indictment revealed.
According to NBC Chicago, Wieser-Mack was killed and her body was stuffed into a suitcase that was put inside of a taxi cab. Her body was later discovered parked at the hotel.
On Wednesday, Mack was arrested under murder conspiracy charges that were confirmed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago.
Schaefer, who was also listed in the court documents, was charged with the crime and is currently serving an 18-year sentence in Indonesia. Additionally, the pair will face prosecution for conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country and obstruction of justice in the three-count indictment.
Mack entered a not guilty plea to all the charges when arraigned Wednesday afternoon before U.S. District Judge Charles Norgle. The judge instructed that Mack be detained until her detention hearing set for Nov. 10.
Brian Claypool, Mack’s attorney, believes the whole ordeal is an orchestrated witch hunt set in motion due to public outcry regarding Mack’s release. Claypool is seeking to have the new charges against his client be thrown out contending the charges Mack now faces were already included in her conviction in Indonesia.
“The U.S. had a choice to make in 2015,” he argues. “They could have fought to extradite…and try her in the U.S. court. They didn’t do that.”
Mack’s 6-year-old daughter Stella Schaefer, who traveled with her mother to Chicago, was not taken into child protective services, according to court records. A Cook County probate judge delivered an emergency order and arranged for one of Mack’s attorneys, Vanessa Favia, to become the young girl’s guardian.
Schaefer’s mother, Kia Walker, was indignant that she was not considered to care for the young child, tearfully telling reporters that “the lawyers don’t need custody.”
“Stella has family here. She has me. I want my granddaughter. I want this craziness to stop,” she said.