Jacob Sullivan, sentenced to death in March 2019 for the rape, murder and dismemberment ofhis then-girlfriend’s 14-year-old daughter, Grace Packer, died of natural causes Thursday, state and Montgomery County officials said Friday.
Sullivan, 47, died of a cardiac aneurysm, a spokesperson for the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office said.
Sullivan, who was incarcerated at SCI Phoenix in Skippack, died at a local hospital, said state corrections spokesperson Maria Finn, who declined to say what he was being treated for.
Sullivan made headlines for the brutality to which he and his then-girlfriend, Sara Packer, subjected Grace, her daughter, in a Quakertown, Bucks County, house in 2016.
Sullivan admitted that he kidnapped, raped, and killed Grace with Sara’s help. After raping the girl, Sullivan choked her to death, he told authorities. The couple stored her body in kitty litter, cut up the remains with a bow saw, and disposed of them in the woods of Luzerne County.
“You have no soul,” Bucks County Judge Diane E. Gibbons told Sullivan when she sentenced him to death. “You are not human.”
Sara Packer pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
On the witness stand, she expressed disdain for the child, whom she had adopted with her ex-husband. “Grace had become, for lack of a better word, a nonentity,” she said. "I wanted her to go away.”
In July 2016, the couple drove Grace from a home they rented in Abington to another they rented near Quakertown, where Sullivan raped her after taking Viagra. The couple later drugged Grace, bound her wrists and ankles with zip ties, gagged her, and locked her in a cedar closet, Packer testified.
Finding Grace alive the next day, a “panicked” Sullivan strangled her, according to trial testimony.
With Sullivan’s death, 130 inmates remain on the state’s death row. All are men, according to the Department of Corrections. The state has not executed anyone since 1999.