Heather Mack wants daughter to stay in U.S., live with California friend of her murdered mother, new court filing claims
SNEED SCOOP: In a hand-written statement filed in court Wednesday, Mack says she no longer wants her 7-year-old daughter to go to Indonesia while Mack faces new charges in the Bali murder of Oak Parker Sheila von Wiese-Mack.
Whither thou goest.
Sneed has exclusively learned a subpoena was issued Wednesday requesting the Chicago court appearance Friday via Zoom of Heather Mack, in advance of a possible court ruling that day on a new temporary living arrangement for her 7-year-old daughter, Estelle “Stella” Mack.
The future of little Stella has been uncertain since her 2015 birth in an Indonesian jail. Mack was in jail for assisting in the grisly 2014 murder of her own mother, Oak Parker Sheila von Wiese-Mack, whose body was found stuffed in a suitcase outside a posh resort hotel in Bali.
Mack was released from a Bali prison in 2021, but upon her return to the United States in November was quickly incarcerated at Chicago’s Metropolitan Correctional Center, and she is now awaiting trial on new federal charges claiming she also took part in planning the murder of her mother.
Since then, Stella has been living in a temporary custodial arrangement with Mack’s former attorney Vanessa Favia, who recently told the probate court she can no longer continue in that role due to family medical problems.
Attorneys Enrico Mirabelli and Cory Oshita issued the subpoena requesting Heather Mack’s court appearance on behalf of their client, Diana Roque Ellis, who was a close friend of von Wiese-Mack … and earlier this year had petitioned for guardianship of Stella with the support of Mack.
On Wednesday, Heather Mack submitted an affidavit to the Probate Division of Cook County Circuit Court first obtained by Sneed, which was attached to a request by Ellis not to send Stella to Bali this summer to stay with a foster mother appointed by the Indonesian court as recommended by the girl’s court-appointed advocate.
In the affidavit, Heather Mack states: “I previously indicated that Stella would have a good home [with her original Indonesian foster mother] in Bali, but now I believe that it’s best for Stella to stay with Diana so Stella and I can be reunited in the U.S.” Heather also cited the need for her daughter to reside with Ellis to start the 2022-23 school year in her new home.”
“I strongly object to my daughter returning to Bali,” the affidavit states.
She also stated that Ellis should become the “standby guardian” for her daughter.
“I have a close personal relationship with Diana Roque Ellis and know of the love she has for my daughter,” the filing states.
Mirabelli tells Sneed: “We felt the subpoena for Heather’s court appearance was necessary based on a recommendation Monday by Stella’s court appointed advocate to send her to Bali this summer in the care of the woman who had raised her during Heather’s incarceration in Indonesia.”
“It caused serious concern Stella might never be able to come back to the United States if she leaves the country.”
During Monday’s court hearing, Judge Stephanie Miller asked everybody seeking temporary custody of Stella to file any objections to the Bali trip by Wednesday and return to court Friday.
Sneed is told Stella talks to her mother twice a week and has maintained a strong relationship with her.
Last February, Sneed reported on Ellis’ request for guardianship of Stella. Ellis had come to Chicago in January and visited with Stella while she was living with Favia.
Court documents reported exclusively by Sneed provided an illuminating peek into an intensely fraught family dynamic long before the murder of Sheila von Wiese-Mack.
“Sheila wanted Heather to have the best of everything,” Ellis said then, and she wanted her girl to “acquire Sheila’s deep abiding appreciation of the arts.”
But the petition also contained some startling revelations, including the fact that von Wiese-Mack started having difficulties with Heather when she herself was 6 years old and she described a “tumultuous relationship” between mother and daughter throughout the years.
Now living in California, Ellis said she has been the godmother known as “Aunt Diana” with a “deep history with Heather and her deceased mother.”
Ellis said then that she sees raising Stella as her duty.
“I believe it is my obligation as Sheila’s best friend and Heather’s godmother to ensure that Stella has the best possible home environment until Heather’s current legal situation is resolved.”