DENPASAR, Indonesia — An FBI agent has arrived on the Indonesian resort island of Bali to assist in an investigation into the killing of a U.S. woman found stuffed in a suitcase at an exclusive hotel, police said Saturday.
The news came as more gory details emerged of the death of Sheila von Wiese Mack, including that her neck had been broken when she was killed.
The 62-year-old’s half-naked body was found Tuesday in a blood-stained suitcase in the boot of a taxi in front of the five-star St. Regis hotel in the upscale Nusa Dua resort area. Her daughter, Heather Mack, 19, and daughter’s boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, 21, who were staying with the victim at the hotel, were arrested the following day and named suspects in the case.
They fled the hotel shortly before the body was discovered. Police say they have strong evidence against the pair, and are leaning towards recommending a charge of premeditated murder, which carries a maximum penalty of death in Indonesia.
Under the Indonesian legal system, they would only be formally charged once they appear in court. On Friday, a U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation agent arrived to assist with the investigation, Bali police said. “The FBI agent wanted to know about the developments of the police investigation, and he will also provide back-up for us,” local police chief Djoko Hari Utomo told AFP. Meanwhile a doctor at the main hospital in the Balinese capital Denpasar said an autopsy had been completed on the victim Saturday. Medics found she had a broken neck and nasal bone and died asphyxiated, said doctor Ida Bagus Putu Alit.
He had previously said the wounds were consistent with Wiese Mack having put up a struggle. The victim died on Tuesday before a wake-up call she had requested at 10:00 am (0200 GMT), the doctor added. Bali police Chief Benny Mokalu has said strong evidence, including CCTV footage and finger prints, means police are likely to seek a charge of premeditated murder against the pair. The couple have refused to talk to Indonesian investigators and demanded representation from American lawyers.