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crimesider

Report: Suspects in Bali "suitcase murder" on suicide watch

Heather Mack at police district headquarters after she was brought in for questioning in the death of her mother, in Bali, Indonesia, Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014.

Firdia Lisnawati, AP

BALI, Indonesia - A Chicago woman and her boyfriend - who are accused of killing the woman's mother on the Indonesia resort island of Bali - were placed on suicide watch in jail, police say, according to Reuters.

Bali police spokesman Hery Wiyanto said Heather Mack, 19, and Tommy Schaefer, 21, were depressed and their mental state is being checked every day, according to the news outlet.

"Tommy seems better, but as they both continue to refuse to speak it is difficult," Wiyanto is quoted as saying.

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The suitcase found containing the body of an American woman, displayed at a police station in Nusa Dua on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.

SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images
Mack and Schaefer are accused of killing Mack's mother, 62-year-old Sheila von Wiese-Mack, whose beaten body was found stuffed in a suitcase last week in front of the upscale St. Regis Bali Resort where the three had been vacationing from Chicago.

An autopsy found she died of asphyxiation after her nose was broken by a blunt blow. Other bones were broken in her head and face, and wounds on her hands indicate she tried to defend herself, Indonesian authorities say. Her body was reportedly flown back to the U.S. on Tuesday.

Mack and Schaefer have not been charged in the killing, but Indonesian police say they are investigating it as a possible case of premeditated murder, which carries a maximum sentence of death.

Reuters reports Bali police spokesman Wiyanto said tests confirmed that Mack is pregnant.

Both Mack and Schaefer have reportedly refused to talk to an Indonesian lawyer that was appointed to them.

Michael Elkin, a Chicago-based lawyer for the 19-year-old Mack, told CBS Chicago earlier this week that a team of U.S. lawyers, private investigators and doctors were getting ready to head to Bali soon.

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Sheila von Wiese-Mack
CBS Chicago
Elkin says he is concerned for Mack's well-being after she told him she has been sexually assaulted and drugged in custody. She's also told him that she's not getting enough water and that she is two months pregnant, he said. Indonesian police deny any mistreatment.

Authorities have not released a motive in the case, but Illinois police reports indicate that von Wiese-Mack was repeatedly and violently abused by her daughter.

Police in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park were called 86 times in 10 years to the house where the young woman and her mother once lived. The Chicago Sun-Times obtained the police reports through an open records request.

The reports detail repeated episodes in which von Wiese-Mack said her daughter attacked her and stole her credit cards, money and jewelry. One report says the daughter was arrested in 2011 on suspicion of knocking her mother to the floor and breaking her arm.

In another, the woman accuses her daughter of locking her in her room and preventing her from calling 911. In 2010, she reported that her daughter punched her already-broken ankle during an argument over household chores.

Von Wiese-Mack was the widow of highly regarded jazz and classical composer James L. Mack, who died in 2006 at age 76.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday that von Wiese-Mack and her late husband received a more than $800,000 settlement in a lawsuit between the couple and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. in 2011.

The newspaper cites court records showing von Wiese-Mack received $340,667 in an initial share. Another $500,000 went to her husband's estate and was designated for his daughter, Heather, who was then a child.

In 2011, a judge allowed von Weise-Mack to pay herself the $500,000 as the estate's "sole beneficiary."

Editor's Note: Previous stories wrongly reported that Heather Mack and Tommy Schaefer were charged with murder in the death of Sheila von Wiese-Mack. They have not officially been charged.