News

Old abuse claim raised against mom charged in Grace Packer's death

Written by The Associated Press | Mar 7, 2017 1:25 AM
sara_packer.jpg

This photo provided on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017, by the Bucks County District Attorney shows Sara Packer. (Bucks County District Attorney via AP)

(Easton) --  Child welfare officials in eastern Pennsylvania say a private agency might have known 10 years ago about abuse allegations against a foster mother now accused in the rape and murder of her 14-year-old daughter.

The Northampton County Department of Human Services said Monday it has stopped referring foster children to The Impact Project.

The department cites allegations that The Impact Project "was informed of alleged abusive behaviors" by Sara Packer more than a decade ago. The department did not elaborate, and officials did not immediately respond to a request for additional details.

A woman who answered the phone at The Impact Project declined to comment.

Packer and her boyfriend, Jacob Sullivan, are awaiting trial in the rape, killing and dismemberment of her adopted daughter, Grace Packer. Prosecutors contend they dismembered the girl in July after Sara Packer watched Sullivan act out a rape-murder fantasy the couple shared.

Sara Packer worked at The Impact Project and later became an adoptions supervisor for Northampton County.

She and her husband at the time, David Packer, had cared for dozens of foster children before David was arrested in 2010 and sent to prison for sexually assaulting Grace and a 15-year-old foster daughter at their home in Allentown, about an hour north of Philadelphia.

Sara Packer lost her job as an adoptions supervisor in April 2010, and she was barred from taking in any more foster children.

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