Jessica Padgett was allegedly murdered by her stepfather, Robert Graf. The missing daycare worker's body was found on November 26th. Authorities have determined she was shot, and are now trying to determine if necrophilia--sex with her dead body--was a motive for the killing.
Padgett, a mother of three, vanished Friday, November 21st, after leaving her workplace, the Duck Duck Goose Child Care in Northampton, for her lunch break. Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli says his office is trying to determine if a sexual attack may have happened before, during or after the shooting death of Jessica Padgett.
"We know she died of a gunshot wound and we haven't excluded necrophilia as a possible motive in the killing," Morganelli said. "His possible motive was to have a sexual relationship with the body."
— CBS 21 News (@CBS21NEWS) December 5, 2014
He added that there's nothing that indicates the two had any kind of sexual relationship prior to Jessica Padgett's murder.
Jessica Padgett reportedly left work to go to her mother and stepfather's home, where she planned to use their fax machine. The one at her office wasn't working. She never returned to work after her lunch hour. Her body was latered discovered inside her car in the parking lot of a Dollar General store, which is located near her mother and stepfather's home.
Officials said earlier this week that they believe Robert Graf killed Padgett in his home and then drove her vehicle to the dollar store parking lot where he retrieved his own vehicle, which he had likely parked there earlier in the day.
Philly.com reports that Robert Graf videotaped himself having sex with Jessica Padgett's dead body.
John Morganelli declined to discuss what the video showed, other than to say Graf committed a variety of sexual acts against Padgett, 33, of Whitehall Township, who once described him as like a second father.
Authorities say they are working to determine whether the murder was premeditated. Authorities say Padgett's mother was away in Florida at the time her daughter was murdered.
Padgett's family released a statement following news of the arrest saying they are "devastated by the loss of Jessica."
"She was a beautiful, vibrant young woman who was loved by her family and friends. The world shines less bright today," the statement reads.
If necrophilia was involved in the murder of Jessica Padgett, it adds an even worse air of disgust to this tragedy. Not only will her mother and children grieve her horrific passing, they will always be reminded of the perverted aspect of her death.