THE rotting remains of a withdrawn 36-year-old were found on a stool-covered sofa as her parents are accused of neglect.
Lacey Ellen Fletcher’s body was found sunk in her family’s sofa in the living room, which weighed only 96 pounds. Now her parents can be charged with murder.
On the morning of January 3, Sheila Fletcher called 911 after discovering her daughter’s body. Deputies entered the home to a “strong stench,” said District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla.
Lacey Fletcher of Slaughter, Louisiana, died in her parents’ home after being tied to a couch in the living room for an indefinite period of time.
Her body was found surrounded by feces and urine. She had worn the sofa upholstery through, according to D’Aquilla.
Lacey was also found with severe wounds on the underside. She suffered from bacterial infections and was positive for Covid, Dr. Ewell Dewitt Bickham III, forensic pathologist at East Feliciana Parish.
Bickham condemned the woman’s death as a homicide. He told WAFB: “Her cause of death stems from at least a decade of medical malpractice.”
Her parents, Sheila and Clay Fletcher, have not been formally charged with a crime, nor have they been arrested. But D’Aquilla must ask a grand jury to bring charges against them.
“The beacons just let her sit on the couch. She just peed and used the bathroom on the couch, ”said D’Aquilla. “It was so awful.”
He plans to ask a grand jury to charge Lacey’s parents with second-degree murder.
The Fletchers are expected in court on May 2, where a jury will decide whether to prosecute them.
In addition to second-degree murder, Fletchers can also be charged with manslaughter, atrocity against frail or negligent homicide, D’Aquilla told WAFB.
D’Aquilla said it is unclear whether anyone other than 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 homeschooled from the time she went to high school and experienced severe social anxiety as a teenager, her parents said.
The Fletcher family also said their daughter refused to leave the couch in the living room.
They claim to have brought Lacey her meals, and even said she would pee and defecate in towels or on the floor when 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 “sound-minded to make her own type of decisions.” Sheila Fletcher even claims to have cleaned her daughter’s wounds regularly.
But D’Aquilla believes there is a message to learn here.
“You have to take better care of your people than you do your animals,” he said
“I just want people to recognize that if you have such a situation, you need to act.”
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