Lehigh Valley

Lehigh Valley murder case to be spotlighted on primetime TV

Lehigh Valley murder case to be...

EASTON, Pa. - It was a case that sounded like a made-for-TV movie; a man kills his stepdaughter and then abuses her corpse to fulfill a fantasy.

But sadly, the Jessica Padgett case was all too real. It's back in the spotlight on primetime TV.

Northampton County District Attorney, John Morganelli, remembers hearing about the young mother who disappeared in Allen Township, Northampton County, in 2014.

"We started off basically with a brief video of a vehicle which we thought was Mr. Graf's vehicle," Morganelli said. "And from that point forward other information was developed."

The evidence led investigators to Gregory Graf. 

Graf, Jessica Padgett's stepfather, would be convicted of murdering her and then recording himself sexually abusing the corpse.

"When you have good investigation, and good investigators to get the job done, it makes our job easy, and it leads to a six minute verdict," Morganelli said.

Morganelli believes that's why the Investigation Discovery channel series, "See No Evil," decided to highlight the case Wednesday night.

"Aside from the terribleness of the crime itself, it's about the police and the law enforcement community's ability to solve the crime and how they go about it," Morganelli said.

Jessica Padgett's husband, Michael, declined an on-camera interview, but tells 69 News he was the one who gave permission for the story to be used.

He received a letter stating the show was going to air and says the only reason he approved it was because of the focus on police and not the people involved.

Morganelli says the show has caused some strife among Jessica Padgett's family.

"It is a case of public importance, it's a case of public interest, and whether the family members like it or not, we don't control, I don't control the media's ability to go produce a show," he said.

Michael Padgett says he was interviewed for the show as well..

He hopes once it airs, people will understand it was done to highlight the work of the men and women who brought his wife's killer to justice.

 


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