Caseworkers missed ‘red flags’ before teen’s brutal death

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A report says child welfare agencies in Pennsylvania missed a series of “red flags” in the case of a teenager who endured years of abuse before her 2016 rape and murder.

Investigators probed 14-year-old Grace Packer’s interactions with the child welfare system and identified numerous missed opportunities to protect her. The state Department of Human Services released the heavily redacted report on Monday.

Grace’s adoptive mother, Sara Packer, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced Friday to life without parole for plotting Grace’s death. Sara Packer’s boyfriend, Jacob Sullivan, who raped and strangled Grace, was sentenced to death last week.

The teenager suffered mental, sexual and physical abuse in the years leading up to her murder, but child welfare officials allowed her to remain in Sara Packer’s home.

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