Heather Mack happily greeted friends outside of the prison, including the woman who raised her daughter. Mack was taken aback by the media crowded outside the prison awaiting her release on Friday: ‘Oh my God, you are crazy,’ she said as she left. The prison chief warden, Lili said that Mack was overjoyed at being released and also frightened, crying and almost fainting.
“All prisoners must be happy once they can leave the prison, including Heather. She felt happy, a little bit shocked, doubt, and a little bit worried when she found out she would leave the prison. But we tried to calm her down. She cried when she said goodbye to her friends inside”, Lili said.
Mack´s sentence was shortened by President Joko Widodo a total of 34 months because of good conduct. Mack stayed at an immigration detention center for four days after her release while waiting for her flight tickets and travel documents to be ready. She was then escorted by immigration officers to Bali´s airport for a flight to Jakarta.
The chief of the Bali regional office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, Jamaruli Manihuruk said she will fly from Jakarta to Chicago on Delta Airlines. He said his office has asked the central government to ban Mack from Indonesia for life. Heather Mack has previously reported that she was afraid that she would be deported back to the United States.
She expressed her fears of returning to Chicago with Stella to The New York Post: “I am fearful and nervous of returning to Chicago. I’m not worried about the idea that people cannot understand the tragedy for my sake. But I’m nervous for my daughter Stella. ‘I’m scared that if she comes back to the States with me, she will be exposed to what happened. I do not want anyone shoving a camera into Stella’s face. I know that it will happen to me, but I will do my best to protect Stella from that trauma.”
Yulius Benyamin Seran, Heather’s attorney says that Mack asked that her daughter remain with her foster family to avoid media attention in the U.S. But Amrizal, chief of the Bali immigration office refused saying, “Minors must be accompanied by their mothers when their mothers are deported. There is no policy that allows a mother to leave her underage child here”.
Mack had not seen her daughter, Stella Schaefer for about 20 months because Indonesian authorities halted prison visits during the coronavirus pandemic. Stella Schaefer was born shortly before her parents were convicted in 2015. Under Indonesian law, she was allowed to live with her mother in her cell in Kerobokan female prison until she turned two. Then Heather Mack gave custody of her young daughter to an Australian woman, Oshar Suartama, who befriended Mack during the murder trial in 2014.
Heather Mack, who is known for killing her wealthy Chicago socialite mother, Sheila von Wiese-Mack. Heather was sentenced in 2015 at the age of 19 when she was a few weeks pregnant. Her and her then 21-year-old boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, were arrested after her mother’s body was found in a suitcase inside the trunk of a taxi parked at the upscale St. Regis Bali Resort in August 2014.