RICHLAND TWP., Pa. - Gruesome new details have emerged in the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Montgomery County girl
Jacob Sullivan, 44, was charged Sunday with the rape, kidnapping and murder of Grace Packer. A few hours later, authorities announced similar charges against Sara Packer, Grace's mother.
According to the probable cause affidavit for their arrest, Sullivan and Packer conspired for months to kill the girl.
According to the affidavit:
Sullivan told police that he and Sara Packer had been plotting Grace’s murder since the fall of 2015.
He said on July 8, he and Sara Packer drove Grace from their old residence in Abington Township to their new residence in Richland Township. When they arrived, Sullivan struck Grace in the face several times, splitting her lip.
During the assault, he and Packer took Grace up to the third floor attic. He said he raped the 14-year-old girl while her mother watched. He said Grace was conscious during the sexual attack.
The two then gave the girl medication to sedate her, saying it would help minimize her pain. She was then bound, gagged and left to die in a cedar closet in the attic, which Sullivan described to investigators as extremely hot.
In the middle of the night, Sullivan and Packer returned to the attic, expecting to find Grace dead. But Sullivan said she was still conscious and alive. Sullivan then wrapped his arm around her neck and face, squeezing the life out of her.
Sullivan and Packer then concealed Grace’s body in the unused attic and packed it with cat litter to mask the odor.
She remained in this location until the middle of October. He said following a police visit in mid-October, he and Packer dismembered Grace’s body in the second floor bathroom tub before dropping her body at a remote location in Bear Creek Township, Luzerne County. They then discarded much of the evidence over the next few weeks to avoid detection.
Grace’s body was found by hunters on Oct. 31.
An Oct. 16 receipt for a bow saw and blades with matching characteristics to those used to dismember Grace were found at Sara Packer’s home. An extensive search failed to locate the saw and blades.
On Dec. 30, two months after Grace’s body was found, Jacob Sullivan and Sara Packer were hospitalized for attempted suicide by drug overdose. On Jan. 7, investigators were informed that Sullivan admitted to hospital staff that he was responsible for the murder of Grace Packer and that Sara Packer was an accomplice.
A few weeks after her daughter’s body was discovered, Sara Packer was charged with child endangerment and obstructing with administration of law in connection with Grace’s disappearance. At the time, she was also a person of interest in the homicide.
According to Sullivan and Packer’s probable cause affidavit for their arrest:
Sara Packer reported Grace missing on July 11, saying the 14-year-old was last seen three days earlier.
Police say Packer failed to drop off a recent photo of Grace and over the next few weeks, police made numerous attempts to contact Sara Packer.
On Sept. 7, police went to Sara Packer’s residence in the 800 block of Tennis Avenue in Abington Township and found it vacant.
Police soon learned that Sarah Packer had withdrawn both Grace and her younger brother from the Abington School District and enrolled just her son into the Quakertown School District.
In October, police went to Sara Packer’s new residence in the 900 block of East Cherry Road. There, Packer showed detectives a room she said was Grace’s bedroom, containing an unmade bed and clothes on the floor. When asked about Grace’s personal items, Packer told police they may be packed away.
Also in October, relatives told police they only learned of Grace’s disappearance recently, conflicting with Packer’s statement to police in early September that she had told all her family members of the girl’s disappearance.
Other people police talked to said Sara Packer was a frequent user of Facebook, posting minor and insignificant details about her life, but that she never once posted about her missing daughter.