‘Fait Accompli’: Murdered teen Grace Packer left in abusive home after mother banned from taking in more foster children

Sara Packer, charged with her adopted daughter’s brutal murder, fostered 30 children

The horror continues as even more details are revealed about the tragic life of Grace Packer, the 14-year-old Pennsylvania girl brutally tortured and murdered this past July, allegedly by her own adoptive mother and her boyfriend.

According to new reports, Grace had suffered at the hands of yet another man for years before her horrific death: Her mother Sara Packer’s ex-husband David Packer, who was convicted of raping a mentally disabled foster teen girl — one of 30 foster children Ms. Packer, a former child service worker, took in over the course of several years. Packer was also convicted of molesting Grace between 2006 and 2010.

Not long before her former husband’s conviction, Ms. Packer was fired from her job as a Northampton County adoption supervisor for “unspecified misconduct,” and barred from taking in any more foster children. But Grace and her younger brother, who the Packers adopted after the siblings were removed from another home where they were allegedly abused, remained with the woman who would ultimately be charged in Grace’s brutal murder.

“Grace, who was subsequently raped and murdered, was an adopted child. That adoption was already a fait accompli,” Lehigh County District Attorney James Martin told the Associated Press. “It’s a horrific story, but I don’t know what else my office or the Allentown Police Department could have done at the time.”

David and Sara Packer eventually split, and Ms. Packer was in a relationship with Jacob Sullivan at the time of Grace’s death. Sullivan reportedly confessed in late December to raping, torturing, strangling and dismembering the 14-year-old, as her adoptive mother allegedly watched and participated, after the couple was hospitalized following a failed suicide pact. According to the confession, Sullivan and Ms. Packer had been plotting to kill Grace since 2015, in a nightmarish crime that Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub described as the fulfillment of a “rape-murder fantasy.

According to a summary of Sullivan’s charging documents published in PennLive.com, Sullivan confessed to taking Viagra prior to the rape, which he reportedly said sexually aroused his girlfriend. After the assault, Grace was reportedly sedated with Tylenol PM and left in a hot cedar closet, bound and gagged, to die. When she was still alive several hours later, Sullivan reportedly said he “slowly squeezed the life out of her.” Packer’s body remained in a closet stuffed with cat litter in the couple’s rented home from her death in July until late October, after police visited the home, apparently spooking the killers. According to Sullivan’s confession,  they cut her body into pieces in a bathtub, and dumped her remains in a remote forest area. Those remains were found by hunters on October 31.

Sullivan and Packer remain in custody on multiple charges.


Photo: Bucks County District Attorney