Packer then gave her daughter a large amount of Tylenol PM and other drugs to sedate her as they bound and gagged her and “left her to die in the hot attic,” the district attorney’s office stated.
The couple went out for the rest of the day and returned home to find Grace still alive. Sullivan then allegedly strangled and suffocated her until she died. They stored her body there with cat litter to mask the odor, the district attorney office said.
Three months later in October, Packer and Sullivan dismembered the body and dumped it in a park in north central Pennsylvania. Officials allege they dismembered the body after being scared by a police visit.
The girl’s torso was found by two hunters in a Luzerne County park on Oct. 31, and K-9 teams found the legs and arms nearby, the criminal complaint said.
Sullivan and Parker were arraigned on charges of homicide, rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, unlawful restraint, kidnapping, possessing instruments of crime, endangering the welfare of a child, abuse of corpse, simple assault, tampering with physical evidence and conspiracy to commit rape.
Both suspects are being held without bail pending a preliminary hearing on January 20.
Authorities said Packer kept cashing her daughter’s monthly $700 Social Security checks and updated disability forms in August without mentioning the girl’s disappearance. It’s unclear what the girl’s disability was.
Sullivan and Packer made a suicide pact and tried to overdose on prescription pills on Dec. 30, a criminal complaint said. They were hospitalized after being found by a woman who lived with them.
Prosecutors said Sullivan began confessing to the killing overnight Friday into Saturday to workers at the hospital where he was being treated.
Grace’s real mother, who gave her up for adoption in 2004, said of the murder:
“All these years, I figured that she was growing up to be a regular teenager,” Hunsicker said, “You know, a mother’s instinct, that she was growing up in a wonderful family, a wonderful home, growing up to be a big girl.”
Even in death, you just want to reach out and give this girl a hug…