DENPASAR Indonesia (Reuters) - A pregnant U.S. teenager and her boyfriend were on suicide watch on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on Wednesday, police said, after being held as suspects in the murder of the woman’s mother whose battered body was found in a suitcase.
No charges have been brought in connection with the death of Sheila von Wiese-Mack, 62, whose body was found in the bloodied case in a taxi outside the luxury St. Regis hotel in Nusa Dua, Bali, last week.
Her daughter, Heather Mack, 19, and Mack’s boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, 21, were arrested and detained as suspects.
Bali police spokesman Hery Wiyanto said the couple were depressed and were on suicide watch.
“Their mental state is checked every day,” Wiyanto said. “Tommy seems better, but as they both continue to refuse to speak it is difficult,” he said.
The couple have refused to talk to their Indonesian lawyer and a U.S. lawyer was expected to arrive in Indonesia on Wednesday.
“Tommy is under close observation and has no access to materials he could use to (commit) suicide,” Wiyanto said.
Police last week provided CCTV footage showing the couple speaking to a taxi driver after dropping the bloodied suitcase along with other luggage outside the hotel.
Police said the two left, apparently to check out of the hotel, and never returned. The case was lifted into the back of a taxi.
The two were arrested at a nearby budget hotel.
An official at the hospital that conducted the autopsy said von Wiese-Mack had been repeatedly hit on the face and head with a blunt object.
The body was flown back to the United States on Tuesday accompanied by an officer with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is assisting in the investigation.
Wiyanto said ultrasound and urine tests had confirmed that Mack was pregnant, as she had said, which he earlier suggested might have been a ruse to ensure she was sent home.
“... In Indonesia there are a lot of cases of pregnant prisoners, if they are already processed through the courts and they are jailed,” he said. “So if found guilty, the baby will be born in prison. The baby could grow up in prison with its mother.”
Reporting by Trisha Sertori; Writing by Randy Fabi; Editing by Nick Macfie