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Friday, May 13, 2022

The Gregory Graf Murder Case

     Jessica Padgett, a 33-year-old mother of three, was last seen at 12:45 in the afternoon of Friday November 21, 2014 by fellow employees at the Duck Duck Goose Daycare Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Surveillance camera footage revealed that 15 minutes after she left the the center her car was returned to the daycare parking lot by a man whose face was not caught on camera.

     Police and volunteers in the eastern Pennsylvania community searched several days without finding a trace of the missing woman. Investigators feared foul play.

     On Wednesday November 26, five days after Padgett went missing police officers, while executing a search warrant in and around the house in Allen Township where her mother and stepfather resided, found her remains buried behind a shed on the 7-acre plot of land.

     On the day the body was recovered police officers took the victim's stepfather, 53-year-old Gregory R. Graf, into custody on suspicion of murder. At the time Jessica Padgett went missing her mother was in Florida.

     Graf, a dedicated hunter who grew marijuana on his property owned a local fencing company. Under police questioning he initially denied any knowledge of his stepdaughter's disappearance and murder. He said he had no idea how her body ended up in the ground on his land. But when detectives pressed Graf with inconsistencies in his story and confronted him with physical evidence that linked him to the disappearance and murder he broke down and confessed.

     Graf admitted shooting Padgett in the back of the head shortly after she left the daycare center that day. Regarding his motive, he was vague. Investigators believed Graf had raped the victim before he killed her. As it turned out detectives had the order of these acts reversed.

     Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli charged Gregory Graf with first-degree murder. The judge denied the suspect bail.

     On December 5, 2014, a search of Graf's computer revealed a video of the suspect having sex with his stepdaughter's corpse. This act of necrophilia on the remains of a woman he had murdered for that purpose made Graf, under Pennsylvania law, eligible for the death penalty.

     Following the discovery of the postmortem sex video the prosecutor added the charge of abuse of corpse.

     At his arraignment Graf asked the judge to appoint him a defense attorney. The defendant said he didn't want to take resources from his family to pay for a lawyer. The judge denied this request on the grounds the suspect had enough money to pay for his own defense.

     On November 13, 2015, following Graf's four-day trial the jury found him guilty of first-degree murder. In arriving at this verdict jurors deliberated less than ten minutes. The conviction brought a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.


  1. Why do they even bother with jailing him?....Just dig a hole, put him in, then fill the hole.

  2. Jim~The tv show about the case said that she was found in a ravine, not buried on the property. Which is correct?

    1. She was found on her step-father and mothers property behind a shed covered with debris

  3. It's the center of the Ninth Circle of Hell for this demoniac.

  4. Get your facts right! The Duck Duck Goose Daycare Center is NOT in Allentown, it is in Northampton. Her car WAS NOT found returned to the Daycare center parking lot, it was left in a parking lot by the Dollar General store in Northampton. AND it was longer than 15 minutes after she left the daycare center that surveillance camera footage shows someone parking her car in the Dollar General parking lot. If you are going to write about true crime, you need to get the facts right!!!

    1. Calm down, anonymous July 9, 2022, geez…

    2. I concur with the facts you've stated. I lived in Northampton at the time. People should really do better reporting.