A 36-year-old lady from Slaughter, Louisiana named Lacey Ellen Fletcher led a life that was anything from typical. Lacey spent much of her youth confined to a couch at her parents’ house due to severe autism and perhaps locked-in syndrome.
She stayed in the same position for an estimated 12 years, her body eventually merging with the sofa as a result of her protracted immobility. Her primary carers were her parents, 64-year-olds Sheila and Clay Fletcher.
The Body of Lacey Was Found
The corpse of Lacey Fletcher was discovered in her parent’s house, sitting straight, slightly immersed, and partially nude. The autistic woman, age 36, had spent the previous 12 years immobile on her parents’ couch.
A newly sworn-in grand jury was shown hundreds of graphic images in a closed session, including the horrifying image above. Photos of Lacey, who vanished from public life roughly 15 years ago, showed the depth of her awful anguish. Lacey, an autistic woman, was nearly completely engulfed in her own excrement and buried up to her shoulders in a sofa crater.
Her right arm was draped over the top of her malnourished body, close to her neck, while she sagged over on her left side. Except for a little blue patterned t-shirt that was pulled up over her chest but did not conceal her breasts, she was completely nude. She was gazing with wide-open eyes. She had her lips wide as well, showing what seemed to be all of her front teeth.
Huge, furious crimson spots covered her face. Her body was covered in feces nearly entirely. Her hair was matted with it. She even had it in her ears.
A “latrine-like” odor permeated the space, and Lacey’s body was covered in maggots. Her physique was so thin that it weighed under 100 pounds.
Medical personnel were available to treat the 12 panel members since the photos presented to the jury were so gruesome and distressing. The courtroom audience was left dumbfounded by the photographs. Some of the jury members gasped in shock. Some were just looking in shock.
The cause of death was listed as extreme medical negligence, according to the coroner, Dr. Ewell Bickham, which resulted in chronic malnutrition, acute hunger, immobility, the creation of acute ulcers, osteomyelitis (a bone infection), and eventually sepsis.
After Lacey’s body was found, her parents were accused of second-degree murder.
Graphic pictures of the living situation and Lacey’s physical condition were included in the evidence provided to the grand jury, and they were so repulsive that medical staff were on standby when the pictures were revealed.
Each of the Fletchers posted a $300,000 bail to be freed.
In an unexpected turn of events, District Judge Kathryn Jones dismissed the murder charges against Lacey Fletcher’s parents, Clay and Sheila Fletcher, citing an error in the indictment’s phrasing. The choice was made before the trial, which was scheduled to begin in June 2023.
The parents had entered a not guilty plea in July 2022 after being charged with second-degree murder by a grand jury in Clinton, Louisiana, in May 2022.
Despite the dismissed charges, District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla intends to reopen the case on June 19 and present it to a new grand jury. By the end of the year, he wants to have the parents detained on fresh charges and have the case tried.
According to reports, Lacey’s parents were away from the area when she passed away. They had stated that Lacey was averse to leaving the house and never voiced any complaints. According to the pair, Sheila would routinely wipe Lacey’s sores while Lacey would discharge herself on the couch or a towel that was put nearby.