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Press Release

Chicago Woman Arrested on Federal Charges for Allegedly Conspiring To Murder Her Mother in Indonesia

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois

CHICAGO — A Chicago woman was arrested today on federal charges for allegedly conspiring with her boyfriend to murder her mother at an Indonesian resort in 2014.

An indictment returned in 2017 and unsealed today in U.S. District Court in Chicago charges HEATHER L. MACK, 26, and TOMMY E. SCHAEFER, 28, of Chicago, with conspiracy to commit murder and obstruction of justice.  The indictment accuses Mack and Schaefer of conspiring in Chicago and Indonesia to carry out the murder of Mack’s mother, Sheila A. Von Wiese, a U.S. citizen from Illinois.  The charges allege that Mack and Schaefer killed Von Wiese in a hotel room at the St. Regis Bali resort on Aug. 12, 2014, and then placed the body in a suitcase and loaded it into the trunk of a taxicab.

An Indonesian court in 2015 convicted and imprisoned Mack and Schaefer on local charges related to Von Wiese’s murder.  Mack was released last week from an Indonesian prison.  She was arrested today by U.S. authorities upon her return to the United States.  Her arraignment in federal court in Chicago has not yet been scheduled.  Schaefer remains imprisoned in Indonesia.

The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Kenneth A. Polite, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; and Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI.  Indonesian law enforcement and immigration authorities provided valuable assistance.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Terry M. Kinney of the Northern District of Illinois, and Frank Rangoussis, Trial Attorney of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section.

The U.S. investigation previously resulted in charges against Schaefer’s cousin, ROBERT RYAN JUSTIN BIBBS, also known as “Ryan Bibbs,” of Chicago.  Bibbs pleaded guilty in 2016 to a murder conspiracy charge, stating in a plea agreement that he was aware of the couple’s plot to carry out Von Wiese’s murder and that he counseled Schaefer on how to get away with it.  Bibbs was sentenced in 2017 to nine years in federal prison.

Updated November 3, 2021

Violent Crime