The jury deciding the fate of Grace Packer’s killer told a judge Wednesday that they were deadlocked after “significant deliberation.”

Bucks County Judge Diane E. Gibbons didn’t officially declare the panel deadlocked, however, ordering jurors to continue deliberating and attempt to reach a unanimous decision about whether Jacob Sullivan should be sentenced to death or life in prison for raping and killing the 14-year-old Abington girl.

If the jury cannot reach a unanimous decision, Gibbons must sentence him to life in prison.

The jury listened to seven days of argument and testimony before beginning deliberations around 4 p.m. Tuesday. When Gibbons dismissed them Wednesday, they had been discussing the case for more than 10 hours. They were instructed to return Thursday morning.

Two images of Grace Packer, who was 14 when she was killed
Abington police
Two images of Grace Packer, who was 14 when she was killed

Sullivan, 46, and his girlfriend Sara Packer, 44, admitted to kidnapping Packer’s adopted daughter Grace, raping her, drugging her, and leaving her to die in a hot Richland Township attic in 2016. When they returned to find her alive, Sullivan choked her to death. The couple stored her body in kitty litter for months, before cutting up the remains and disposing of them in Luzerne County.

As part of a deal with prosecutors, Packer is set to plead guilty after Sullivan learns his fate. She will be sentenced to life in prison.