Last July, 14-year-old Grace Packer became the victim of a horrific rape and murder. Her adoptive mother, Sara Packer, told law enforcement that her daughter had vanished without a trace. On Halloween, Grace’s disemboweled remains were found by hunters in the nearby woods. Over the weekend, Bucks County, Pennsylvania investigators finally made two arrests in the case.
Sara Packer will be arraigned today on homicide charges in the July rape-murder-dismemberment of her 14 yo adopted daughter Grace pic.twitter.com/SFJTaIEPds
— Jo Ciavaglia (@JoCiavaglia) January 8, 2017
Those arrested for the murder of Grace Packer were her own adoptive mother, Sara, and Sara’s boyfriend Jacob Sullivan. Sara Packer had been in detective’s crosshairs for months since they accused the 41-year-old of secretly moving away and even deliberately withholding vital information from investigators. What’s more, it has been alleged that Sara Packer had continued to cash Grace’s monthly disability checks after her daughter’s “disappearance.”
Fast forward to the December 30. It was then that police say that Sara Packer and Jacob Sullivan attempted to commit suicide by ingesting prescription drugs. They were found by a roommate and ultimately transported to a local hospital. They had allegedly entered a “suicide pact.” On January 7, Sullivan reportedly confessed his role in the murder of Grace Packer to multiple hospital staff members. He also allegedly named Sara Packer, Grace’s adoptive mother, as his accomplice in the brutal crime.
According to court documents, Grace’s mother and her boyfriend planned the teen’s murder for approximately a year before allegedly carrying it out on July 8, 2016. The motive? According to Sullivan, it was a sickening rape/murder fantasy concocted by the pair. On the day of the murder, Grace was reportedly beaten, savagely raped, poisoned and left to die alone in a hot attic. When she failed to succumb to the poison, court documents indicate that Sullivan admitted to strangling the teen to death.
After her murder, Sara Packer and her boyfriend allegedly stored the teen’s remains in the attic for months, packed in kitty litter to disguise the odor, before disemboweling her corpse and dumping it in the woods.
As of Monday, both Sara Packer and Jacob Sullivan have been charged for their alleged roles in the murder of Grace Packer. As Fox News reports, the depraved pair is facing multiple charges, including criminal homicide, rape, and abuse of a corpse.
— Ginger Henderson ???? (@Destiny22Ginger) January 10, 2017
As the nation struggles to come to grips with Grace Packer’s murder and her final, horrific hours, new disturbing details about the personal life of her mother, Sara Packer, are coming to light.
It is now being reported that prior to allegedly killing and dismembering her adopted daughter to fulfill a rape-murder fantasy, Sara Packer worked as a child welfare and adoption supervisor. In fact, Sara Packer was an employee of the Northampton County Children, Youth and Families Division for adoptions for roughly seven years, from 2003 to 2010.
@WSMVAlanna This is utterly terrible. And I'm a crime reporter.
— Natalie Neysa Alund (@nataliealund) January 9, 2017
— theworkbea (@niagara815) January 10, 2017
— Jill Jensen (@jillibean1031) January 10, 2017
RIP Gracie I'm sorry they didn't let you live long enough to leave. I'm sorry you didn't make it out. Lighting a candle for you #gracepacker
— Jayn Griffith (@JaynGriffith) January 9, 2017
@JoCiavaglia can't even imagine. This story has broken my heart ????
— Heather (@CTFleaMarkets) January 10, 2017
In 2010, Packer was reportedly suspended from her position as a child welfare worker; Northampton County Controller Stephen Barron Jr. claims that he has no details regarding the reason behind the suspension. However, court records indicate that her ex-husband David Packer was facing child sex abuse charges at roughly the same time. Reportedly, he was charged in two child sex abuse cases; one in November 2010 and the second in January 2011. He ultimately pleaded guilty to the charges and is currently behind bars.
The divorce between Sara Packer and her ex-husband was reportedly finalized in June 2016, just a month before the murder of Grace Packer.
As WFMZ 69 reports, Grace Packer’s birth mother assisted law enforcement in identifying her biological daughter’s remains in November. According to Rose Hunsicker, she was contacted by Montgomery County detectives in October of last year regarding Grace’s disappearance. Then, just before Thanksgiving, they contacted her once more to request and take a sample of her DNA. The reason? They believed that Grace Packer had been murdered and that they had found the 14-year-old’s body.
One of the most horrifying stories I've read. Grace Packer was robbed of the love every child is born deserving. https://t.co/uLICfG8hTT
— Alanna Autler (@WSMVAlanna) January 9, 2017
The identity of the remains was confirmed a few weeks later, and just before Christmas, Hunsicker got the worst news any parent can ever receive. The disemboweled corpse discovered by hunters indeed belonged to Grace Packer, and now police were searching for a murderer.
“I was hurt, angry. There was no words that I could have put in, you know, anything to express my emotions and stuff about my daughter.”
According to Grace’s biological mother, she was forced to give up Grace and her younger brother in 2004 due to the “circumstances in her life,” and that was the last time she saw her biological daughter. Now, she is learning, along with the rest of the world, that the woman she believed was raising Grace to be “a regular teenager” stands accused of the 14-year-old’s murder.
In her grief, Rose Hunsicker says she still believes that her daughter can receive justice.
“I know now that justice can be served for my daughter, but when I found out who it was, you know, I trusted this woman to take care of something so precious to me.”
Because the investigation into Grace’s murder is still in its early stages, it is impossible to predict the case’s outcome, or what semblance of justice Grace might receive. However, both suspects in the murder of Grace Packer are currently being held without bail, and while they have yet to enter pleas in the case, if convicted they could potentially face the death penalty.
[Featured Image by Bucks County Sheriff’s Office]