A Balinese woman living in the United States was found dead at a roadside in North Charleston, South Carolina, on Saturday, after allegedly being murdered by a carjacker.
Ni Luh Endang Susiani, 31, was from Buleleng. She had been living in the US since 2009 after singing up with PT QKAI, a Yogyakarta-based employment agency. She had been working in a South Carolina Chinese restaurant.
According to consular officials, Susiani was kidnapped at gunpoint in a car park in North Charleston on Friday night. She was in her car with her fiancé, Nyoman Arwani, at the time.
They were allegedly approached by Tyler A. Brown-Kelly, 28, of St. George, South Carolina, who forced Arwani out of the car and drove off with Susiani. Her body was found at the roadside around 15 kilometres away in St George in the early hours of the following morning. She had been shot in the head.
Brown-Kelly was arrested nearby after police officers spotted him in the stolen car. He was subsequently charged with murder.
Consular staff notified Susiani’s family of her death over the weekend, and arrangements are being made to return her body to Indonesia for burial.
“I hope that it won’t take long,” her father, Putu Artana, said.
Jaeny Desjardin, a friend of Susiani, said she had travelled to America to start a better life.
“It’s just so sad and tragic. Why did he need to kill her?” she said.
Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Michael Tene has said steps were underway to organise the repatriation of the body.
“The General Consulate dispatched a team on Saturday to repatriate Luh’s body,” he said. “The body will be sent to the family as soon as an autopsy has been done.”
It has subsequently been reported that Susiani was in the US illegally. Her family said they had had to pay Rp95 million to the employment agency in Yogyakarta to arrange her paperwork and placement there.