Couple who raped, killed 14-year-old Grace Packer in 2016 to spent rest of their lives behind bars

Sara Packer and Jacob Sullivan

BUCKS COUNTY, Pa. — The couple who raped and killed 14-year-old Grace Packer in 2016 will spend the rest of their lives behind bars.

Sara Packer, Grace’s adoptive mother, pleaded guilty Friday and was subsequently sentenced to life plus 52 to 104 years, according to the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office.

“Since the day I heard about this case, one question played over and over in my mind: How could a parent do this?” the judge told Packer. “You never were a parent to Grace Packer. You never wanted to be a parent to Grace Packer. The word ‘mother,’ out of your mouth, is a profanity.”

A jury agreed a day prior to sentence Jacob Sullivan, Packer’s boyfriend, to death. Though, no one has been executed in the state since 1999 due to Pennsylvania’s moratorium on the death penalty.

“There are no words for what you are, Mr. Sullivan. There are no words for what you did. There are no words for what you no doubt would continue to do if you were not apprehended,” Judge Gibbons said Thursday. “You have no soul.”

The couple admitted in their pleas that they had planned to kill Grace and agreed to act out a shared rape-murder fantasy, the DA’s Office said.

Packer, 44, and Sullivan, 46, killed Grace in July 2016. They reported Grace missing prior to killing her and continued with the false story. That October, Packer and Sullivan dismembered the teenager’s body and spread her remains in a secluded area in Luzerne County where hunters discovered the remains that month, the DA’s Office added.

The couple was arrested in January 2017, following failed suicide attempts, the DA’s Office said.

“Grace’s memory will no longer be bound to that of these two predators,” District Attorney Matthew D. Weintraub. “She is free. And her family is free from this overwhelming justice process that we rely on, that we count on to keep us safe and to make people pay for their crimes.”

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