FILE – This combination of file photos taken on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017, by the Bucks County District Attorney shows Sara Packer, left, and Jacob Sullivan. Sullivan pleaded guilty Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, in the first-degree murder in 2016, the death of the 14-year-old Grace Packer. (Bucks County District Attorney via AP, File)
Pennsylvania mother of a girl that was raped, murdered and dismembered, testified before the court on Wednesday she helped plot the attack and carry it out, but said that it was her friend from the idea to the rape of her daughter.
Sara Packer called in a Doylestown courtroom how she looked to Jacob Sullivan sexually assault her 14-year-old daughter, Grace Parker, and then strangle her in a warm attic in their house. Packer made the remarks during a sentencing hearing for Sullivan, who had already pled guilty to rape in the first degree murder and other crimes in the toe of death.
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“I got wrapped up in Jake’s imagination. I don’t think I could tell him ‘no’ without losing him,” Packer told the court, according to the Allentown Morning Call.
Packer, who already agreed to plead guilty to first-degree murder in exchange for life in prison,” said her daughter looked at her like she was suffocated to death and Packer told her that it was “OK to go.”
“Grace had become, for lack of a better word, a non-entity,” Packer said. “She’s just not exist anymore. I wanted her to go away.”
Packer also said that the killing of the girl was not part of the plan, according to the Morning Call. She said that she and Sullivan are planned for the teen trapped in their house, so that Sullivan could “rape her whenever he wanted to.” But she said that she thinks Sullivan “in panic.”
“The reality of what he had done, and there was no way back. So, he decided that it was time for her to die,” she said.
The grace asked for help when Sullivan began to rape her, Packer.
“I can’t help you no more,” Packer said, according to the Morning Call. “This is your life now.”
Packer also testified that he and Sullivan tried to kill the teen with an overdose of over-the-counter medicines, thinking the combination of the pills and the heat would kill her. Packer admitted to the help of bonding of the child with zip ties, and stuffing a ball gag in her mouth while she and her friend left her to die.
Grace tried to escape the house before the couple returned, but it was too late, and she was strangled. The pair then stored her body in a litter box for months before dismembering it and dumping it in a secluded area. Hunters found the remains in October 2016.
Sara Packer and her husband David Packer adopted Grace and her younger brother Josh in 2007. The couple cared for dozens of foster children before David Packer has been sentenced for sexual abuse of Grace and a 15-year-old foster daughter in their home.
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Sara Packer was let go from her job as an adoption supervisor in 2010 and was prohibited from taking more children, but Grace was allowed to stay in the house despite the evidence of abuse.
Packer faces life in prison in her plea deal, while Sullivan get the death penalty.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.