HORROR photos show the faeces-covered couch on which the body of a 36-year-old was found in a case of alleged neglect that could lead to murder charges for her parents.
New details about Lacey Ellen Fletcher’s health have surfaced as the coroner estimated she sat on the couch for 12 years and eventually merged with it.
Police were called to Lacey’s Slaughter, Louisiana, on Jan. 3 after her parents called 911 to report that their daughter was not breathing, East Feliciana Township Coroner Dr. Ewell Dewitt Bickham III.
Upon entering the home, officers noticed a strong odor. They found Lacey sitting in a hole set into the couch’s upholstery and foam padding.
She only weighed 96 pounds.
“The scene was disgusting,” said Dr. Bickham told DailyMail.com.
He said Lacey was partially nude and covered “from head to toe” in urine, feces and bug bites.
Lacey reportedly suffered from locked-in syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that involves complete paralysis of all voluntary muscles except those that control eye movements.
According to The National Organization for Rare Disorders, individuals suffering from this condition are bedridden and entirely dependent on caregivers.
The organization said they remain conscious and alert and cognitive function is not usually affected.
The coroner said it appeared Lacey had not seen a doctor in 20 years. She had bedsores that reached her bones and severe ulcers were found on her underside, Bickham said.
She was also reportedly suffering from bacterial infections and tested positive for Covid.
“The parents were in the kitchen,” Bickham said of the day Lacey was found.
“You had no explanation.”
POSSIBLE MURDER INFORMATION
Bickham ruled that Lacey’s death was a homicide, saying “the cause of her death stemmed 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.
A grand jury will hear the case on May 2 and decide whether to indict the parents, including manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter or second-degree murder.
The second-degree murder charge carries a possible life sentence, according to prosecutors.
“The jurors are shopkeepers, farmers – many have never been exposed to these things,” District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla told the Daily Mail.
“So I asked for a medical team to stand outside the courtroom.”
John Potts, who worked with Lacey’s father Clay Fletcher for six years, said he was stunned by the news of Lacey’s death.
Clay Fletcher reportedly resigned Tuesday as President of the Baton Rouge Civil War Roundtable
“Shock… because it doesn’t square with my experience with him,” Potts told BRProud.com.
“The details are frightening. There’s no doubt about it and I can’t imagine how this could even happen.”
Neighbors and friends told the outlet they were unaware the couple had a daughter.
Lacey’s mother, Sheila, is said to be on administrative leave from her position as Assistant District Attorney for the City of Zachary.
Lacey has been homeschooled since high school, when she began suffering from severe social anxiety, her parents said in a Jan. 18 interview with Detectives.
The Fletchers said their daughter refused to leave the living room couch.
They claimed to have brought Lacey her meals and said she would urinate and defecate in towels or on the floor as she was afraid to leave the couch.
The Fletchers also reportedly claimed that Lacey hadn’t seen a doctor in 10 years because she hadn’t been ill.
D’Aquilla stated that the couple said Lacey “is sane to make her own decisions.”
“You have to take better care of your people than your animals,” D’Aquilla told reporters.
Attorney Steven Moore released a statement from Lacey’s parents on Wednesday.
“They don’t want to relive the pain of losing a child through the media. You’ve been through a lot of heartbreak over the years. Anyone who has lost a child knows what it’s like.”
The Sun contacted Moore on Friday for further comment from Lacey’s parents on the neglect allegations.
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https://www.the-sun.com/news/5231248/lacey-fletcher-feces-covered-couch-recluse-death/ Horror images show a faecal-covered couch merged into the body of a 36-year-old recluse while she sat there for 12 years at her family’s home