Tommy Schaefer has been arrested in Bali, charged with the murder of his girlfriend’s mother. According to the Jakarta Globe, Schaefer, 21, along with his girlfriend Heather von Wiese Mack, 19, are accused of beating Sheila von Wiese Mack to death on August 12 and stuffing her body in a suitcase.
A source told Heavy.com, that Tommy Schaefer is “no monster, he is a messed up kid.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Hotel Surveillance Video Showed Schaefer Arguing With Sheila von Wiese Mack
Heather von Wiese Mack and her mother had been on vacation at the St. Regis resort in Bali for several days before they were joined by Schaefer on August 11. That night, surveillance video from the hotel shows Schaefer and Sheila von Wiese Mack arguing in a hallway. Schaefer had checked into a different room.
The following day, Schaefer and Heather von Wiese Mack checked out of the hotel. They loaded their suitcases into a cab and told the driver to wait. Resort staff had asked Schaefer and girlfriend to remain in the lobby while they located Sheila von Wiese. The couple instead sneaked out of the hotel through the beach entrance. They were arrested on the morning of August 13 while they slept at a hotel a few miles away. Both are now in custody with police attempting to uncover whether this was premeditated murder or a spontaneous act.
2. Schaefer Just ‘Lost the Love of His Life’
On his Facebook page, Schaefer’s profile photo shows him with a girl who is not Heather von Wiese Mack. Earlier posts indicate that the girl died.
A source told Heavy.com that the girl is named Rachel Smylie and that she was killed in car accident in Cape Town, South Africa in April 2014. She was a volunteer at an Aids clinic in Ann Arbor and was in Africa furthering her education in Aids treatment. The same source said that Rachel was “a lovely, bright girl from a highly respected and affluent family in Oak Park.”
3. He Said He Might Never Return From Bali
On July 4, Schaefer posted on Facebook that he was leaving for Indonesia on August 4, cryptically adding that he might never come back. Then, on August 10, he posted on his page that his next destination was China. His last post on social media was a tribute to actor Robin Williams on August 12.
4. Schaefer Was Arrested at a Chicago Hotel in July 2014
CBS Chicago reports that in July 2014, Schaefer was arrested along with his girlfriend at the Conrad Hotel in Chicago. The pair were apparently causing a disturbance. He was charged with disorderly conduct and breach of the peace. His girlfriend wasn’t charged. In 2012, he had a simple assault conviction and was sentenced to court supervision. He also has busts for drug and alcohol related offenses, but no charges.
A source told Heavy.com that the hotel had been paid for with Sheila von Wiese Mack’s credit card.
5. Schaefer Says He Is a Songwriter
According to his Facebook page, Schaefer is a songwriter who attended the Columbia College’s Music Business program. A source told Heavy.com that Schaefer completed one semester in Columbia but dropped out to focus on music.
He lists his hometown as Livorno, Italy, but lives in Chicago. His relationship status on his page says that he is single.