American Woman Promptly Arrested Upon Landing in U.S. After Release From Indonesian Prison

Heather Mack spent seven years in an Indonesian prison for killing her mother after flying abroad with her then-boyfriend. She landed at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on Wednesday, her first time in the U.S. since 2014, where she was immediately arrested, according to the U.S. Attorney's office in Chicago.

Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) took Mack into custody after her indictment on murder conspiracy charges in the U.S. Mack's former boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, was also charged in the U.S. after being convicted in Indonesia. He remains jailed there.

Mack, 26, pleaded not guilty. Her lawyer argued the U.S. could have extradited and tried Mack in 2015 but chose not to do so.

Also on the plane with Mack was her 6-year-old daughter, Stella Schaefer. A lawyer has emergency custody of the girl, according to the Associated Press. Mack was escorted away by the FBI.

According to the indictment, Schaefer and Mack killed Mack's mother, Shelia von Wiese-Mack, while in Indonesia. They stuffed her body into a suitcase, put it in the trunk of a taxi cab, then tried to cover it up by removing items of clothing worn during the killing. The pair was arrested a day later.

Mack was 19 and a few weeks pregnant at the time.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

American women returns to US
After serving seven years of her 10-year sentence in Indonesia, Heather Mack returned home to the U.S. Above, Mack (C) is mobbed by reporters as he arrives in the courtroom for her sentencing hearing at a district court in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, on April 21, 2015. Firdia Lisnawat/AP Photo

She served more than seven years in an Indonesian prison before her release.

Mack has been charged with conspiring to kill von Wiese-Mack in a U.S. indictment that was unsealed Wednesday.

With the indictment in which they are charged with conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country, Mack and Schaefer are also charged with obstruction of justice in the three-count indictment.

At an arraignment on Wednesday afternoon, Mack pleaded not guilty to the charges and U.S. District Judge Charles Norgle ordered that she remain in custody until a detention hearing on Nov. 10.

Brian Claypool, Mack's attorney, said Wednesday that the federal charges are "clearly a witch hunt" in response to public pressure after Mack's release from prison.

Speaking by phone from California, Claypool said he will ask the court to throw out the new charges, arguing that conspiracy was included in the charges that Mack was convicted of in Indonesia.

Claypool said Mack's daughter, Stella, was "excited" about her first trip to the United States. He declined to say who took custody of the girl when FBI agents took Mack away but said she was not handed over to child protective services. Court records show a Cook County probate judge issued an emergency order Tuesday appointing one of Mack's attorneys, Vanessa Favia, as the girl's guardian. Favia could not be reached for comment.

Schaefer's mother said she was angry that she was not given custody of her granddaughter.

"The lawyers don't need custody," Kia Walker told reporters at the airport. "Stella has family here. She has me. I want my granddaughter. I want this craziness to stop."

According to the indictment, Mack flew from Chicago to Indonesia on August 2, 2014, and Schaefer arrived on a flight from Chicago eight days later. On August 11, Schaefer communicated in messages with Robert Ryan Justin Bibbs in Chicago about "different ways to kill Von Wiese." The next day, according to the indictment, Schaefer and Mack exchanged messages about "how and when to kill Von Wiese."

According to the indictment, the two killed Von Wiese-Mack on or about that same day.

Von Wiese-Mack's badly beaten body was later discovered in the taxi parked at the upscale St. Regis Bali Resort.

In 2016, Bibbs, who was identified as a cousin of Schaefer, pleaded guilty to helping to plan the killing in exchange for $50,000 from Mack's expected inheritance. That cousin was sentenced the next year to nine years in prison. In 2017, the Chicago Tribune reported that court documents revealed the FBI was investigating whether others were involved in the conspiracy.

According to the indictment, the murder "was part of the conspiracy that Heather L. Mack and Tommy E. Schaefer concealed, misrepresented and hid."

Mack and Schaefer, then 21, were arrested a day later at a hotel about 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the St. Regis.

The killing generated international attention, in part because the suitcase appeared too small to hold an adult woman's body. The couple were convicted in 2015; Mack was sentenced to 10 years in prison and Schaefer received an 18-year sentence.

Indonesian officials announced in August that Mack would be released in October. She was freed from prison on Friday and deported to the United States this week.