The toddler daughter born to the Americans convicted over the infamous ‘Bali Suitcase Murder’ has left her life in Kerobokan Prison for a new chapter with an Australian family.
Young Stella turned two years old on Friday, requiring her to leave the Indonesian prison where she’s spent her entire life up til now.
Stella’s parents, Heather Mack and Tommy Schaefer were convicted for the killing of Mack’s mother (Stella’s maternal grandmother), Sheila von Wise-Mack.
Von Wiese-Mack, a Chicago socialite, was found brutally murdered, stuffed into a suitcase at St. Regis Bali in August 2014. Schaefer was found guilty for the murder and sentenced to 18 years prison, while Mack got 10 years for assisting.
Schaefer and Mack have since broken up and the question over Stella’s guardianship has been controversial.
Schaefer’s mother (Stella’s paternal grandmother), Kia Walker, had been trying to lobby for custody of Stella back in the US, but has been unable to secure legal rights over the toddler.
“We were disappointed in the judge’s ruling, because the child is an American citizen,” Walker’s attorney Michael Goldberg said, as quoted by Yahoo7 News.
“We think she’s being left to the whim of Indonesian law and no one seems quite sure what that is.”
Mack made the decision to give Stella to Australian-Balinese woman Oshar Putu Melody Suartama, who reportedly befriended Mack when she was pregnant and detained over her mother’s murder back in 2014.
Suartama apparently would bring Mack supplies and supported her during the trial. Reports have previously stated that Mack wanted to keep Stella in Bali so she could still be involved in her life. Suartama reportedly has a husband two young sons.