September 19, 2014 / 6:19 PM / 4 years ago

Suspect in Bali suitcase murder admits killing girlfriend's mother: police

JAKARTA (Reuters) - A U.S. man detained in Bali has confessed to killing his girlfriend’s mother and stuffing her body into a suitcase, police confirmed on Friday.

Tommy Schaefer, 21, and Heather Mack, 19, both from Chicago, were arrested on Aug. 13 after the battered body of Sheila von Weise-Mack was found in a bloody suitcase outside a luxury hotel on the resort island in Indonesia.

Police said the suspects made separate confessions in which Schaefer admitted to killing Wiese-Mack, 62, and Mack, who is three months pregnant, admitted to helping him stuff her body into the suitcase.

“Tommy said that he was in an argument with Sheila von Weise-Mack in a hotel room. Tommy was offended and then killed Sheila,” Djoko Hari Utomo, head of police in the provincial capital Denpasar, told Reuters. “Heather was in the room. She witnessed the killing and then helped put the body into a suitcase.”

Police had earlier said that Schaefer may have killed his girlfriend’s mother after getting into an argument over the hotel bill, but said the suspect gave a different reason in his statement.

“We cannot give more details about what offended Tommy and how he killed Sheila,” Utomo said, adding that the investigation was still ongoing.

The two suspects have not been formally charged with a crime. Under Indonesian law, charges would follow an investigation that could take weeks.

Reporting by Chris Nusatya; Writing by Kanupriya Kapoor; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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