grace packer murder

Grace Packer Murder: Mother Charged In Murder And Dismemberment Of Teen Reportedly Fostered 30 Kids

The details of the horrific rape, murder, and dismemberment of Pennsylvania teen Grace Packer last July shocked and sickened investigators and the public alike. The case was made even worse when arrests were finally made in the slaying, because Grace Packer’s own adoptive mother, 41-year-old Sara Packer, was one of the two people charged in the unthinkable crime.

The other was 44-year-old Jacob Packer, Sara’s boyfriend. According to police, the depraved pair plotted for roughly a year before carrying out the rape-murder fantasy that ended with Grace Packer being beaten, sexually assaulted, poisoned, and strangled to death before being dismembered and dumped in the woods.

“The hours and the days leading up to her murder were probably the most horrible and traumatic that any person should ever have had to experience. The hours and the days leading up to her murder were probably the most horrible and traumatic that any person should ever have had to experience.”

Tragically, it has been reported that Sara Packer and her ex-husband adopted Grace Packer and her brother when Grace was just three-years-old. The reason? The siblings had reportedly been sexually abused by other adults living in their home.

At first, the murder of Grace Packer was treated as a missing person’s case. According to the 14-year-old’s adoptive mother, one day around July 11, the teen simply up and vanished. However, police became suspicious of Sara Packer after she abruptly moved away without telling investigators. She is also accused of continuing to cash Grace’s monthly disability checks after her adopted daughter “disappeared.”

On Halloween, Grace Packer’s remains were found, dismembered, by hunters in the woods. Police believe that Sara Packer and Jacob Sullivan had been storing Grace’s body at the pair’s rental house, packed in kitty litter to disguise the odor, until police unexpectedly showed up at the residence and “spooked” them. Afterward, the pair is accused of cutting Grace’s corpse apart in a bathtub and dumping it.

On December 30, Sara Packer and Sullivan reportedly attempted to end their lives, entering into a suicide pact as the heat in the Grace Packer murder investigation intensified. As Fox News reports, it was while Sullivan was recovering in the hospital that he allegedly admitted raping and murdering Grace Packer. He also allegedly named Sara Packer as his accomplice in the brutal, senseless slaying.

After his arrest, Sullivan reportedly apologized to the press for as he was led into the courthouse.

“I’m sorry for what I did. It was wrong.”

Sara Packer has been charged with criminal homicide, conspiracy-forcible rape, and kidnapping, as well as a myriad of additional charges related to the murder of Grace Packer. Jacob Sullivan has been charged with, among an array of lesser charges, criminal homicide, and rape in connection with the crime. Both are being held without bail in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. If convicted, both could face the death penalty.

Following the arrests of Jacob Sullivan and Grace Packer’s mother in connection with the teen’s murder, new details about the life and career of Sara Packer came to light. Particularly disturbing details, given the tragic way Grace Packer’s life allegedly ended.

As NBC Philadelphia reports, Sara Packer was once a supervisor for Northampton County’s Children, Youth, and Families division. She reportedly worked directly with adoption cases. Sara Packer, according to government records, was fired from that position in 2010, at approximately the same time as her ex-husband, David Packer was facing multiple child sex crime cases. David Packer would later plead guilty to statutory sexual assault involving two underage children, one an adopted child and the other a foster child.

Now, as Fox News reports, it has been revealed that the adopted child David Packer pleaded guilty to molesting was Grace, now the alleged murder victim of his ex-wife. That molestation reportedly took place between 2006 and 2010.

David Packer’s other victim was reportedly a learning disabled foster child. She initially alleged that her foster father had had sexual intercourse with her when she was 18-years-old. Further, she claimed that Sara Packer was aware of what had happened. Lehigh County District Attorney James Martin prosecuted the case against David Packer, and he claims that the 18-year-old’s initial allegations were not criminal due to her age.

“As reprehensible as that may be, it isn’t a crime.”

In the aftermath of the initial allegations, however, it came to light that David Packer had been having sex with the unidentified teen since she was 15-years-old, which is a crime, and Packer reportedly served time in prison in connection with the rape.

It has also been confirmed that Sara Packer and her convicted child sex offender ex-husband David fostered dozens of children between 2000 and 2010. In fact, the depraved pair is said to have fostered 30 children in all, in addition to adopting Grace and her brother, prior to David Packer being charged with sex crimes against children. This number was confirmed by Pennsylvania officials on Friday.

When she lost her job working as a Northampton County adoption supervisor in 2010, Sara Packer was also banned from fostering more children. However, she did not lose custody of her adopted children; what’s more, the State of Pennsylvania stopped checking on Packer’s adopted kids, because no new complaints against Sara were filed and because adoptive parents are afforded the same rights under the law as birth parents.

“If there is a systemic review that comes out of this horrible tragedy, at least we can take some solace in that… so children like Grace are not forgotten, so they don’t fall through the cracks.”

The Grace Packer murder investigation is being spearheaded by the office of Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub, and he hopes that the teen’s tragic death may spur changes that will spare other children from enduring what she went through.

Because of the charges Sara Packer is now facing, including the murder of her adoptive daughter Grace, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services will be conducting welfare checks on and following-up with Packer’s 30 former foster kids.

[Featured Image by Bucks County Sheriff’s Office]