Adoptive mother helped boyfriend rape, murder and dismember her 'difficult' 14-year-old daughter
Sara Packer, 44, made the confession when she was called to testify against her boyfriend Jacob Sullivan, 46, on March 20 for the 2016 death of Grace Packer
A 14-year-old girl was raped, murdered and dismembered by her adoptive mother's boyfriend as part of a rape-murder fantasy the couple shared. The mother admitted she helped plot the attack and carry it out and confessed that she told her daughter "I can't help you anymore" just before she died.
44-year-old Sara Packer's confession came when she was called to testify against her boyfriend, 46-year-old Jacob Sullivan, on Wednesday, March 20, in connection with the July 2016 death of Grace Packer.
Putting into action a plan they had allegedly been pondering on for years, Sullivan and Packer drove Grace from the home they rented in Abington to another one they rented in Quakertown, where Sullivan punched her and raped her. The couple then rugged, bound, and gagged Grace and left her to die in the home's hot attic.
According to the Associated Press, Packer confessed she and Sullivan gave the teen an overdose of over-the-counter medicine, tied her with zip ties, and stuffed a ball gag in her mouth thinking the pills and the heat of the attic would kill her. However, she managed to break free of the zip ties, spit out the ball gag in her mouth, and tried to overcome the drugs in her system, only to see Sullivan return some 12 hours later and suffocate her to death.
Packer and Sullivan then stored the 14-year-old's body in kitty litter for the next few months before cutting up her remains in a bathtub, driving to Luzerne County, and dumping them in the woods. Pieces of her body were later found by hunters.
Packer reportedly appeared to smirk at times as she recounted how she watched Sullivan sexually assault her daughter before strangling her to death. She revealed that Grace had looked at her as she was being choked to death. She took the teen's hand and told her it was "OK to go." "Grace had become, for lack of a better word, a non-entity," she said, without a hint of emotion. "She just didn’t exist anymore. I wanted her to go away."
She also told the jury that Grace had a discipline problem and was a "very difficult child" and that she wanted her dead. She also admitted to hating Grace, sharing a rape-murder fantasy with Sullivan, and helping hack up the teen's body and disposing of it.
Sullivan has already pleaded guilty to all the charges against him — first-degree murder and 18 other original charges including rape and kidnapping — and faces the possibility of getting sentenced to death if the jury of six men and six women return with a unanimous verdict. In the case of a non-unanimous verdict, he will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Packer, on the other hand, has made an agreement with prosecutors where she will confess to the crime and plead guilty to first-degree murder in exchange for a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub told the jury he agreed to the deal because it was Sullivan who raped and killed Grace and that the physical evidence against the 44-year-old was weak.
The powerful victim impact statement of Grace's younger brother Josh, now 14, was read out by a detective and stated the only way he could bear this loss was if adults know her story and act to prevent child abuse. "Watch out for all the kids so that a loss like Grace’s loss never happens again," he wrote. "Do your best to help kids who can’t help themselves."