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Mom Gives Horrific Details of Daughter's Murder

Sara Packer says Grace was 'non-entity'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2019 3:17 AM CDT
This combination of photos provided on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017, by the Bucks County District Attorney shows Sara Packer, left, and Jacob Sullivan.   (Bucks County District Attorney via AP, File)
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(Newser) – Pennsylvania woman Sara Packer shared horrific details of the rape, murder, and dismemberment of her adopted daughter in a courtroom Wednesday—and the AP reports that she "appeared to smirk at times." Packer admitted that she hated 14-year-old Grace Packer and "wanted her to go away," reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. She said after "giving up" on the child, she drugged her and watched as boyfriend Jacob Sullivan punched her in the face and raped her. She said she told her daughter during the attack: "I can't help you anymore. This is now your life.” The couple then bound her, put a ball gag in her mouth, and left her to die in a closet in the hot attic of a Quakertown home. Packer testified that when they returned the next day to discover Grace had broken free from the zip ties, Sullivan strangled her.

"Grace had become, for lack of a better word, a non-entity," Packer said "She just didn't exist anymore." They stored the body in kitty litter for months after the July 2016 murder, then dismembered it with a bow saw and dumped the remains in woods 75 miles away. Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub told Packer—a former county adoptions supervisor—that she was an "utter and miserable failure" as a human being. Packer, who pleaded guilty to murder last month in exchange for a life sentence, was testifying at a sentencing hearing for Sullivan. A jury will decide whether he is sentenced to death or life without the possibility of parole. In a letter read at the hearing, Grace's brother Josh urged adults to do more 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." (Read more child murder stories.)

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