Time is running out for the daughter of Tommy Schaefer and Heather Mack to find a new home outside of the prison she has known her entire life.
Stella Schaefer is currently being raised in a Bali prison by Mack, who, along with Tommy Schaefer, was convicted of killing Sheila von Wiese-Mack. Next month Stella turns 2 years old and must leave the prison, per Indonesian custom.
Stella’s paternal grandmother, Kia Walker, said her son, Tommy Schaefer, wants her to raise Stella in the Chicago area.
"I've never believed she deserved to spend time in prison and I'm just here to speak up," Walker said. "I'm her grandmother and I'm her voice."
Walker filed a motion for guardianship and presented it Friday to the Cook County judge who is overseeing Mack’s trust fund court case. But because Mack could soon be tried under Illinois’ Slayer Statute, which prohibits convicted murderers from benefiting financially from a crime, the judge made it known that his courtroom was not the appropriate place to determine Stella’s guardianship.
As a result, Walker’s motion was denied.
"The judge didn't say that she can't go for guardianship. He just said she can't go for guardianship in this courtroom," said attorney Michael Goldberg, who is representing Walker.
Goldberg filed a new motion for guardianship on behalf of Walker in another Cook County court Friday afternoon.
Mack, however, wants Stella to remain in Bali while she serves out her prison sentence.
“She loves her child and she's gonna maintain a relationship with her child,” Mack’s attorney Vanessa Favia said.
According to Stella’s court-appointed guardian ad litem, Peter Schmiedel, plans are being made for another couple in Bali to raise the girl. However, nothing has been finalized.
"We're just trying to get something done before the 17th of March," Schmiedel said. "I have my fingers crossed."