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Pregnancy test conducted on US teen detained over mother's murder in Bali

Published on Aug 19, 2014 2:44 PM
Heather Mack, suspected in the murder of her mother Sheila von Wiese Mack, gestures while in custody at a police station in Denpasar on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on Aug 14, 2014 -- PHOTO: AFP

DENPASAR, Indonesia (Reuters) - Indonesian police said on Tuesday they have tested a United States teen, detained after the discovery of her mother's battered body in a suitcase in Bali, to see if she is pregnant and are awaiting the result.

No charges have been brought in connection with the murder of Ms Sheila von Wiese-Mack, 62, whose body was found in the bloodied case outside the luxury St Regis hotel in Nusa Dua, Bali, last week.

Her daughter Heather Mack, 19, and boyfriend Tommy Schaefer, 21, were arrested on Wednesday and detained as suspects.

Bali police spokesman Hery Wiyanto told Reuters that Ms Mack had told them she was pregnant, but the police were not able to confirm this.

"We have done some tests but we have not received the result," he said. "It could be just something she says so she will be sent home."

But extradition to have the case heard in the United States was highly unlikely, the couple's Indonesian lawyer Haposan Sihombing said on Monday.

The couple have refused to speak to Mr Sihombing, the lawyer said. They had hired a US lawyer whom Mr Wiyanto said was due to arrive on Wednesday.

Only an Indonesian lawyer is permitted to present a case to a domestic court. Suspects are not formally charged with a crime until after an investigation is completed and a trial begins. Police said the investigation, in which the FBI is assisting, could take weeks.

Murder carries the death penalty in Indonesia.

Police last week provided CCTV footage showing the couple speaking to a taxi driver after dropping the bloodied suitcase along with other luggage outside the hotel.

Police said the two left, apparently to check out of the hotel, and never returned.

They were later arrested at a nearby budget hotel.

An official at the hospital that conducted the autopsy said Ms von Wiese-Mack had been repeatedly hit on the face and head with a blunt object.