Officials in Pennsylvania have charged a man and woman of raping and killing her adopted daughter before dismembering the 14-year-old to fulfil a unlikely sexual fantasy.
Packer was arraigned Sunday on charges including criminal homicide, rape and abuse of a corpse.
A lawyer for Grace Packer’s birth parents told The Associated Press they lost custody of the toddler over allegations that other adults were sexually abusing their young children.
The girl’s torso was found by hunters in a Luzerne County park on October 31, and K-9 teams found her legs and arms nearby.
Northampton County officials issued a news release Monday stating Packer worked from the county from 2003 through 2010, but did not include any further details.
Three months later, they dismembered Grace Packer’s body and left her in a park in north central Pennsylvania, the DA said.
Jacob Sullivan, Sara Packer’s boyfriend, faces charges of homicide, rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, unlawful restraint, kidnapping, possessing instruments of crime, endangering the welfare of a child, abuse of corpse, simple assault, tampering with physical evidence, and conspiracy, the Post noted.
A criminal complaint stated that Sullivan and Packer had made a suicide pact and tried to overdose on prescription pills on December 30, but were hospitalized after being found by a woman who lived with them, according to the television station. Sullivan told investigators he and Sara Packer took Grace to the home in Richland July 8 where he raped her as Packer watched, according to court records. But, she said, she tried to comply with orders from Berks County Children and Youth Services, including visiting her children as often as three times a week while they were in foster care.
Investigators say the couple packed Grace’s body with cat litter to mask decomposition smells and stored it in the attic. But Sullivan apologized as he was led into court, the Intelligencer paper reported. “You know, a mother’s instinct, that she was growing up in a wonderful family, a wonderful home, growing up to be a big girl”.
Authorities said Packer kept cashing her daughter’s monthly $700 Social Security checks and updated disability forms in August without mentioning the girl’s disappearance.
“I’m sorry for what I did“, he said.
Not clear is what the daughter’s disability was. He called them good people who perhaps lacked the money and skills to care for them.
The woman was present December 30 when Sullivan and Packer attempted a “suicide pact” inside the apartment by overdosing on pills, authorities said.
During her marriage, she and David Packer lived near Allentown, and he was investigated and prosecuted on the sex assault charges by the Lehigh County District Attorney’s Office.
David Packer ultimately pleaded guilty, was sent to prison and registered as a Megan’s Law offender. But Barron said he had no details on why she had been suspended. Records show the couple divorced last June.
Sara Packer’s public defender did not return phone messages this week.