Mom Charged in Teen Daughter's Rape, Murder & Dismemberment Was a Child Welfare Worker

Sara Packer, a supervisor for the Northampton County Children, Youth and Families Division for seven years, "represents the worst of a children and youth worker," the county controller said

Warning: The details of this story are extremely graphic and could be disturbing to some readers.

A woman charged with killing and dismembering her adoptive daughter as part of a rape-murder fantasy she and her boyfriend shared had previously worked as an adoption supervisor for a children's welfare agency, authorities said Monday.

Sara Packer worked as an adoption supervisor for the Northampton County Children, Youth and Families Division from 2003 to 2010, the county said.

Packer was arraigned Sunday on charges including criminal homicide, rape and abuse of a corpse. Her boyfriend, Jacob Sullivan, was arraigned on similar charges.

Packer and Sullivan didn't enter pleas and were denied bail, and no attorney information was available for them. But Sullivan apologized as he was led into court.

"I'm sorry for what I did to the girl," he said.

Bucks County District Attorney's Office
(L to R), Grace Packer, Sara Packer

Officials say 14-year-old Grace Packer was beaten, raped as her mother watched, poisoned and hours later strangled in a stifling attic in July.

Investigators say the couple packed Grace's body with cat litter to mask decomposition smells and stored it in the attic. Officials allege the couple dismembered the body in October after being scared by a police visit.

The girl's torso was found by hunters in a Luzerne County park on Oct. 31, and K-9 teams found her legs and arms nearby, a criminal complaint said.

Bucks County prosecutors said the days and hours leading up to Grace's killing "were probably the most horrible and traumatic that any person should ever have had to experience."

Northampton County Controller Stephen Barron Jr. told NBC10 Philadelphia he is demanding those who work for the county take a good look into the case files Sara Packer worked on and supervised.

"She represents the worst of a children and youth worker," he said.

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Northampton County officials have not told NBC10 how many cases Sara Packer worked on as a supervisor. She was suspended without pay in January of 2010 and her employment ended with the county in May of that year. Barron said he had no details on why she had been suspended.

Sources confirmed with NBC10 that Sara and David Packer adopted Grace and her younger brother through Berks County Children and Youth Services. Lawyers for the organization said the county can't comment on the case or any investigation due to state law.

According to court records, Packer's ex-husband, David Packer, was charged by Allentown police in two child sex abuse cases, in November 2010 and in January 2011. He pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a foster child and an adopted girl and was sentenced to six months to five years in prison. Records show the couple divorced last June.

A phone call seeking comment from David Packer's lawyer wasn't immediately returned Monday.

Grace Packer, a Montgomery County 14-year-old, was found dead months ago. Now, as police investigate her murder, details are coming out about the pasts of her adoptive parents.
Copyright AP - Associated Press
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