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US woman convicted in Bali 'suitcase murder' freed from jail

Mack was led away from the prison in a deportee's orange vest.

Mack was led away from the prison in a deportee's orange vest.

A 26-year-old US national convicted of helping kill her mother was freed from prison on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on Friday.

Heather Mack was released seven years into a 10-year sentence for good behavior.

She and her daughter, who was born while Mack was in prison, will be deported to the United States as soon as transportation can be arranged.

What was the 'Bali suitcase murder'?

Healther Mack became infamous as part of what the media dubbed the "Bali suitcase murder" in 2014.

Mack, her boyfriend Tommy Schaefer, and her wealthy socialite mother Sheila von Wiese-Mack, had been staying at the glitzy St. Regis resort on the island.

The mother and daughter were known to have a tempetuous relationship. Police in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park later commented that they had been called to their home dozens of times.

The three were last seen having a disagreement in the hotel's lobby shortly before the killing.

The body of the 62-year-old socialite was discovered inside a suitcase in the trunk of a taxi parked outside the hotel. A few days later Schaefer, 21, and Mack, 19 years old and several weeks pregnant, were found at another hotel 10 kilometers (6 miles) away.

Schaefer was sentenced to 18 years in prison for the murder, and Mack to 10 for assisting in disposing of the body.

Her daughter was born was she was in prison and under Indonesian law was allowed to remain with her there until she was 2. She's been cared for by a foster family since. Until the pandemic began, Mack was allowed regularly visits with her daughter, but now they have not seen each other in 20 months.

Friends, including her daughter's foster mother, welcomed Mack as she was released.

Mack was frightened to leave, said prison warden Lili, who like many Indonesians goes by one name. "But we all cheered her on and reassured her that everything would be all right," Lili told reporters.

"Heather used to say that prison has changed her life a lot, she loves Indonesia and the people who have surrounded her all these years,'' Lili said, "She will miss us so much and so do we here.''

es/rt (AP, AFP)

Updated : 2022-05-17 13:50 GMT+08:00