The mother of a teenage girl found dismembered in northeastern Pennsylvania last fall was charged along with her boyfriend of killing the 14-year-old, prosecutors said Sunday.
Grace Packer was killed as part of a “rape-murder fantasy,” that her adoptive mother Sara Packer carried out with her boyfriend Jacob Sullivan, 44, according to a statement from Bucks County District Attorney Mathew D. Weintraub.
“Unfortunately, Grace Packer was a disposable child to these people,” Weintraub said.
Packer and Sullivan face a slew of charges including kidnapping, endangering the welfare of a child, abuse of a corpse, and simple assault, according to online court documents. Sullivan also faces rape charges and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.
Sullivan told detectives that he and Packer had planned Grace's murder in 2015 after she returned home from staying with family in North Carolina.
On July 8, 2016, Packer and Sullivan led Grace to the attic of a home the couple was renting. Sullivan beat and raped Grace while her mother watched, Sullivan told detectives. After the attack, Grace was poisoned, bound and gagged and left in a closet to die.
The couple later returned to check on Grace and found that she was still alive, so Sullivan said he strangled her, according to officials.
Sullivan told investigators that Grace’s body was packed into a container with cat litter to mask the smell, and left in the attic until an October police visit scared the couple.
Sullivan and Packer dismembered Grace’s body after the police visit, and her torso was found by hunters in Luzerne County Park on Oct. 31, according to officials. A K-9 unit found other body parts nearby, according to the statement.
Sullivan and Packer were both arraigned Sunday, hours apart.
The couple had been hospitalized since Dec. 30 after attempting to overdose on pills as part of a suicide pact, according to a criminal complaint.
Sullivan admitted to hospital officials that he killed Grace and that Packer acted as his accomplice, according to Weintraub.
Packer, who reported that her daughter went missing from their Abington home in July, was previously charged with obstructing the administration of law for providing misleading information to authorities.
Packer and Sullivan are being held without bail.
USA TODAY Network