A man and his girlfriend were arraigned Sunday on a slate of charges accusing them of the rape, murder and dismemberment of the woman's adopted daughter.
Jacob Sullivan, 44, of Horsham, was arrested Saturday and charged with the grisly July slaying of Grace Packer, 14, of Abington Township, the Bucks County Courier Times reported. Grace's adoptive mother, 41-year-old Sara Packer, aided Sullivan in the crime, and helped him dispose of the girl's body, prosecutors said.
Early on July 8, Sara Packer and Sullivan drove the teen from her home to the family's new house in Quakertown. There, Sullivan struck the girl in her face several times, and raped her as Sara Packer watched. The duo gave Grace Packer pills, gagged her and left her to die in the attic of the home, according to the affidavit.
Three days later, Sara Packer went to police to report her daughter missing, telling them she had sent the teen to her room following an argument, NBC10 reported.
"That was all a lie," Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub said of Sara Packer's report. "[Grace Packer] was already murdered."
The pair left Grace Packer's body in the attic – packed in cat litter to mask the stench of decomposition – until mid-October, when they dismembered her body and drove north into the Luzerne County woods to dump her remains in a remote location, the Courier Times reports.
On Oct. 31, a pair of hunters found the teen's body. By December, Sullivan was named a person of interest.
The couple entered into a suicide pact, and tried to kill themselves by overdosing on drugs on Dec. 30, the complaint says. Sara Packer found Sullivan unresponsive in their Horsham home, telling 911 dispatchers she thought he overdosed on pills. When asked why, Sara Packer replied, "I don’t know if you have watched the news lately. Someone we were involved with was recently … It’s a big mess. It’s a big mess and I don’t really know how to explain it. But oh my God," according to the affadavit.
When responders arrived to take Sullivan to Abington Hospital, police found a suicide note written by Sullivan:
I love you all so much. You are the only people that I have always been able to count on. I’m sorry that I am taking the coward’s way out, but I don’t have any strength left in me.
People want to judge and lie and break me down. They have.
I can’t exist with Sara in jail and those f–ing lying pigs and the whore media have made it impossible for us to live.
They don’t care how many lives or laws they break. I know you will always know that we had nothing to do with this no matter what lies they tell. I’m sorry to leave you. Remember all I’ve taught you. Be brave, stand tall and do your best to be stronger than I was.
I love you.
Several hours later, Sara Packer was also found unresponsive in the home, and was rushed to the hospital.
On Saturday, Sullivan, still in the hospital receiving treatment for drug overdose, allegedly admitted to hospital staff that he and Sara Packer were responsible for Grace Packer's murder.
Meanwhile, Packer was charged last month with child endangerment in relation to Grace Packer's disappearance; the mother's whereabouts were unknown until early Sunday morning. She was free on $10,000 bail and hadn't been arraigned yet.
During the arraignment for Sullivan, DA Weintraub said Sullivan might face the death penalty.