A foster child who once lived with a Pennsylvania girl who authorities say was killed and dismembered by her adoptive mother and her boyfriend, told NBC10 she witnessed her being abused years before her murder and even reported it to a foster care agency.
Grace Packer, 14, was murdered in July of 2016. The girl’s adoptive mother, Sara Packer, and her boyfriend, Jacob Sullivan, were both arrested and charged in the girl’s death. Authorities say the couple killed the girl as part of a rape-murder fantasy they shared and then left her for dead in a hot closet inside a home in Quakertown, Pennsylvania. After several months, the couple allegedly dismembered the girl's body and dumped it in a field near Scranton, Pennsylvania where it was eventually discovered in October.
More than a year after Packer’s death, a foster child who once lived with the girl is speaking out, claiming she not only saw her being abused by her adoptive parents but that she also reported it.
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“We weren’t listened to,” the woman, who did not want to be identified, told NBC10. “No one cared to hear what was going on.”
The woman said she witnessed the abuse when her and Grace Packer were under the care of Sara Packer and her then-husband, David Packer, in 2007. At the time, the couple cared for 30 foster children, including Grace. David Packer was later arrested however and accused of sexually abusing Grace and another foster child.
The woman who spoke to NBC10 Monday is the third person who claimed they witnessed Grace Packer being abused and reported it to the Impact Project, a foster care agency.
“We told Impact and I told my case workers from Bucks County Children and Youth,” the woman said. “Gracie was hit, slapped around.”
While the Bucks County CYS declined to comment Monday, Courtney Wagaman, the executive director of the Impact Project, spoke on the allegations.
“We have never once not reported any suspected abuse and where it goes from there is outside of our control,” Wagaman said.
“Are you aware of any children coming to you saying Grace Packer was being abused?” NBC10’s Deanna Durante asked.
“I cannot speak about anything related to Grace Packer,” Wagaman replied.
Grace Packer’s biological parents, Rose and Rodney Hunsicker, are currently trying to become administrators of their daughter’s estate. Vincent Vangrossi, an attorney for the Hunsickers, said they also want to sue Berks County Children and Youth Services, the agency that took Grace from them and placed her in the care of Sara and David Packer.
“I’m very surprised that more hasn’t been done to assure the Hunsickers of the safety of their other children, at least offer them an apology,” Vangrossi said.
Berks County CYS had no comment. Vangrossi said any possible lawsuit would extend to all county agencies involved in the adoption and placement of Grace and her siblings, including the Impact Project.