A Chicago woman in a Bali prison for the murder of her mother has been forced to give up the baby born to her in custody.
Heather Mack, the young woman convicted of killing her mother with her boyfriend before stuffing her body in a suitcase while vacationing in Bali, gave birth to Stella Schaffer two years ago while on trial for the murder, shortly before she and her boyfriend, Tommy Schaffer, were convicted and sentenced to prison.
She and Schaffer have since split, but under Indonesian law, Mack was permitted to keep her child with her until her second birthday.
The Chicago Tribune reports that on Friday, the 21-year-old woman handed over her daughter to Oshar Putu Melody Suartama, an Australian-born interpreter who befriended Mack when she aided her during her murder trial. The foster mother is married to a Balinese man.
The British newspaper the Daily Mail was reportedly on the scene during the exchange, and published statements from Mack addressing the heartbreaking ordeal.
“I know she has to go but it’s tearing me apart,” Mack reportedly said.
“Everything outside prison will be very strange to her now but I want her to stay in Bali and be close so she can visit me as often as possible,” she continued. “She’s a little girl and she needs her mother, whatever I’ve done.”
Photo: Associated Press