Trial of Murdered Child to Start March 2019

Posted on March 6, 2019 by

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Susan Hunsicker, whose name was later changed to Grace Packer, was born 14 August 2001 to Rose and Rodney Hunsicker. She has an older sister named Marybeth and a younger brother named Joshua, whose names were also changed.

According to Hunsicker’s lawyer, David Tornetta, Rose, Rodney, and their two daughters were living in a house with various family members when their eldest daughter, Marybeth, was reported to be molested by an unknown family member. Once they found out, they moved. Grace was only a newborn at the time.

While living in Reading, the children were taken from Rose and Rodney in 2001, when an unknown source reported allegations of physical and sexual abuse against her parents.

“I was like, ‘What’s the cause of you taking my kids?’ And that’s when they said there were allegations that your girls were being sexually abused and you didn’t do anything about it,” Rose Hunsicker said in an interview with CBS 21 News.

In order to try to retrieve their kids, Rose and Rodney underwent a series of tests based on cognitive thinking and various psychological tests by a psychologist and psychiatrist.

“Even though they didn’t completely fail the tests, Rose and Rodney did everything they were supposed to do to try to get their children back, but the system was already rigged for failure, which isn’t what the system is supposed to do,” Tornetta said.

Grace and her younger brother, Joshua, were put in the Packer’s care in March 2007. Sara was a child welfare worker and was thought to be trusted, due to her history with CYS, according to Rose Hunsicker.

According to Tornetta, he thought that after evaluating the Hunsickers, the case would turn over in their favor, but it didn’t. Soon, the Hunsickers gave up their parental rights because CYS found them unfit to care for their children.

“I believe when CYS takes a child, they already have it in their mind that that child ain’t coming back to their parent,” Rose Hunsicker said.

David Packer was arrested for sexually assaulting Grace in 2011 and had to register as a violent sex offender under Megan’s Law.

Sara reported Grace missing during the early summer of 2016. That was the last anyone heard of Grace’s whereabouts.

On 9 July 2016, Grace Packer was murdered. Her foster mother, 44-year-old Sara Packer, and Sara’s boyfriend, 46-year-old Jacob Sullivan, are charged with her murder.

They hid her body in a closet for 5 days before Grace died, thinking she’d  eventually pass on her own. When they discovered she wasn’t dead, Sullivan raped Grace while Sara watched, according to his 2017 recorded confession.

Grace’s dismembered body was found by hunters in Bear Creek Township.

Initially, according to CBS 21 News reporter Brian Sheehan (who’s covering Project PA: Children In Crisis), Sullivan confessed to the dismemberment, rape, and murder of Grace in January 2017.

As of 11 February 2019, Sullivan has changed his story, saying now that his girlfriend was the one behind the killing of Grace.

Both are being charged with abuse of a corpse, rape, kidnapping, and criminal homicide. Both Packer and Sullivan also may face the death penalty. The trial for Grace’s murder, which has been delayed for over 2 years, will begin March 2019.

As of 19 February 2019, Sheehan reported that Sullivan was hospitalized for blood pressure complications. His plea trial is currently delayed at this time.