Suitcase murderer Heather Mack’s baby will continue to grow up in an Indonesian prison, at least for now, as a Chicago judge has denied the baby’s paternal grandmother’s petition to bring her to the US.
Little Stella Schaefer, almost two years old, lives in a Bali prison with her mother, Heather Mack, who murdered her mother, Sheila von Weise-Mack, and stuffed her body into a suitcase. Mack is serving a ten year sentence, where the mother-daughter pair were vacationing at a luxury resort at the time of the killing.
Stella’s father, Tommy Schaefer, was convicted in the same murder and is serving an 18 year sentence. His mother, Kia Walker, petitioned a Chicago court to be named Stella’s legal guardian.
Heather Mack, above with baby Stella, gave birth while in custody in Bali after being arrested for the murder of her mother, Sheila
Kia Walker, right, mother of Tommy Schaefer, petitioned for custody of Stella but was denied
The petition was denied Tuesday because the judge said she had no jurisdiction in Indonesia, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Judge Susan Kennedy Sullivan ruled that without the consent of both parents, guardianship can’t be transferred.
While Tommy Schaefer wants the baby to live in suburban Chicago with his mother, Heather Mack wants a guardian appointed who can live near the prison, according to the outlet.
The child will have to leave the prison when she turns two, which happens on Friday. Walker is afraid the child will then be sent into the Indonesian foster care system.
Heather Mack’s daughter, Stella, has grown up with her inside of a Bali prison (above)
Mack says she wants Stella to live with a nearby guardian so she can keep getting to know her daughter while she serves her 10 year sentence
Walker’s lawyer said the grandmother was ‘disappointed’ with the ruling, according to People. Walker is ‘worried and deathly afraid Stella is going to be put into the Indonesian foster care system.’
‘The child is an American citizen,’ attorney Michael Goldberg told the outlet. ‘We think she’s being left to the whim of Indonesian law and no one seems quite sure what that is.’
Stella turns two on Friday and will have to leave her mother’s side in the prison system
Heather Mack, right, murdered her mother, Sheila, left, after they went to a luxury resort in Bali in 2014 – now she says she began to plot the murder to avenge what she claims is her father’s murder by Sheila, claims called ‘endless lies’ by Heather’s aunt
Walker has appealed the decision, but nothing is likely to be settled by Friday, when the child will have to leave the care of her mother.
Complicating matters is that Stella may be in line to inherit Sheila von Weise-Mack’s $1.56million trust.
According to People, the trust is now controlled by von Weise-Mack’s brother, who has long maintained that because Heather Mack killed his sister, she deserves none of the money.
Writing to the judge who was overseeing a hearing about the trust, Mack wrote: ‘[Tommy and I] already have plans arranged for Stella when she leaves the prison. We also already have a guardian (for Stella).
‘Stella will not be going back to America at all whatsoever until both Tommy and I are released from prison. Even then, there is absolutely no surety that we will ever return to America,’ according to the Chicago Tribune.
In February, Heather released a video claiming that her ex-boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer (above) wasn’t responsible for her mother’s murder and that she tricked him into it
Mack has said she has no regrets about killing her mother. In February, she claimed in a video that she killed her mother to avenge Sheila killing her father in an Athens hotel room, according to the Chicago Tribune.
James L. Mack’s obituary says he died of a pulmonary embolism. Debbi Curran, the younger sister of von Wiese-Mack, said Heather’s accusation is ‘endless lies.’
Heather Mack also took sole responsibility for the murder, saying Tommy Schaefer was ‘innocent.’
It’s unclear what will happen to Stella when she has to leave the Kerobokan Prison on Friday. Stella is an American citizen who has an American passport.
Mack’s lawyer had previously said that a family in Bali was willing to care for Stella until her mother’s release, reported the Chicago Sun-Times.