Just one day after sentencing a Pennsylvania man to death for the rape, murder and dismemberment of a 14-year-old girl, a county judge on Friday sentenced the girl’s adoptive mother to life in prison.
“Evil attracts evil,” the judge said.
Sara Packer, 44, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, kidnapping, abuse of a corpse and 16 other charges related to the 2016 murder of her adopted daughter, Grace Packer. On Thursday, the elder Packer’s boyfriend, Jacob Sullivan, was sentenced to death as a co-conspirator.
Bucks County Judge Diane Gibbons shared her absolute revulsion while sentencing Packer to life in prison.
“Evil attracts evil. Evil recognizes evil. And in Jacob Sullivan, you found one of your own,” Gibbons said.
“You like rape. You like murder. That’s a fact,” said Gibbons, decrying the “rot” and “warped depravity” on display in the case.
Prosecutors said that Sullivan and Packer planned a rape-murder fantasy for weeks before taking Grace to a rented home in Abington, where they attacked her in July 2016.
Sullivan reportedly punched the 14-year-old girl in the face as her mother looked on, philly.com reported. He then took Viagra and raped the child.
Grace was bound, gagged and drugged and left to die in the hot attic, but when the couple returned the following day, they found that she was still alive.
Sullivan then strangled Grace.
“You like rape. You like murder. That’s a fact,”
The couple stored Grace’s body in cat litter for months to mask the stench of the dead body but when authorities came to question them about her whereabouts in October, Sullivan and Packer dismembered the body using a bone saw, dumping it in a remote area where it was later found by hunters.
Packer testified last week that she wanted her daughter dead and admitted to taking part in the plot to kill her.
Packer lost her job at Northampton County’s children and youth department in 2010 after her husband at the time, David Packer, was sent to prison for sexually assaulting Grace and another foster child. But child welfare authorities did not remove Grace from the home, despite evidence of abuse.
The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services launched an investigation after Grace’s murder. Its report was sealed while Packer and Sullivan were being prosecuted but is expected to be made public on Monday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.