THE rotting remains of a reclusive 36-year-old were found on a feces-covered couch as her parents are accused of neglect.
Lacey Ellen Fletcher’s body was found sunken into her family’s living-room couch, weighing just 96 pounds. Now, her parents may face murder charges.
On the morning of January 3, Sheila Fletcher called 911 after discovering her daughter’s body. Deputies entered the home to a “strong stench,” District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla said.
Lacey Fletcher, of Slaughter, Louisiana, died at her parents’ home after she had been anchored to a living-room couch for an undetermined amount of time.
Her body was found surrounded by feces and urine. She had worn through the couch’s upholstery, according to D’Aquilla.
Lacey was also found with severe ulcers on her underside. She was suffering from bacterial infections and was positive for Covid, Dr. Ewell Dewitt Bickham III, the East Feliciana Parish Coroner, found.
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Bickham ruled the woman’s death a homicide. He told WAFB, “Her cause of death stems from at least a decade of medical neglect.”
Her parents, Sheila and Clay Fletcher, have not been formally charged with a crime, nor have they been arrested. But D’Aquilla is set to ask a grand jury to bring charges against them.
“The caretakers just let her sit on the couch. She just urinated and used the bathroom on the couch,” D’Aquilla said. “It was so horrific.”
He plans to ask a grand jury to charge Lacey’s parents with second-degree murder.
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The Fletchers are expected in court May 2, where a jury will decide if charges will be brought against them.
In addition to second-degree murder, the Fletchers could also be charged with manslaughter, cruelty to the infirmed, or negligent homicide, D’Aquilla told WAFB.
D’Aquilla said it is unclear if anyone but Lacey’s parents saw her in the years leading up to her death.
Lacey Fletcher suffered from a disability, her parents said in an interview with detectives on January 18.
Lacey was home schooled from the time she was in high school and experienced severe social anxiety as a teen, her parents said.
The Fletchers also stated that their daughter refused to leave the living room couch.
They claim to have brought Lacey her meals, even saying that she would urinate and defecate in towels or on the floor, as she was afraid to leave the couch.
The Fletchers also claim that Lacey had not seen a doctor in 10 years because she had not been ill.
D’Aquilla says the couple claimed Lacey was “of sound mind to make her own type of decisions.” Sheila Fletcher even claims to have regularly cleaned her daughter’s sores.
But D’Aquilla believes there is a message to be learned here.
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“You need to take care of your people better than you do your animals,” he said
“I just want people to recognize, if you have a situation like that you have to take action.”
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