The body of Lacey Fletcher, 36, was found rotting and “melted” into a couch at her parents home earlier in the year.
“I couldn’t eat for a week, and I cried for a week,” Dr. Ewell Bickham, a coroner of East Feliciana Parish told WBRZ in a piece published Tuesday. Sources told the outlet that this is one of the worst cases of neglect they have ever witnessed. Bickham was limited in what he could discuss as a grand jury will meet Monday to determine if her parents will be held accountable for her death, the outlet continued.
Lacey’s death was ruled a homicide after she was found on a couch in the home, WBRZ reported. (RELATED: Police Launch Homicide Investigation After Finding 10-Year-Old Girl Dead In Woods)
Other sources told the outlet that her body was covered in insects and feces, essentially from head to toe. The pressure ulcers (bedsores) on her backside were so deep that they reached her bone, Oxygen reported. Lacey also tested positive for COVID-19, despite no contact with humans outside of her immediate family for many years.
The couch was a “latrine” and her body had melted through the padding, WBRZ reported. Though her exact movements cannot be determined, sources estimated that Lacey had been sitting in the same position on the couch for several years.
District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla said that the room where Lacey was in was filled with the smell of “rot.”
“We don’t even treat animals like this,” D’Aquilla told The Advocate. “The caretakers just let her sit on the couch. She just urinated and used the bathroom on the couch. It was horrific.”
Lacey Ellen Fletcher, the daughter of a town alderman, died a “horrific” death at home in Slaughter, LA. Almost four months later, the DA in East Feliciana Parish says he’ll seek a murder indictment against her parents. https://t.co/P5dUCMY2IJ via @nolanews
— John Simerman (@johnsimerman) April 26, 2022
Neighbors told WBRZ that they hadn’t seen Lacey for at least five or six years. When they asked her parents if she was still around, her father allegedly said, “yeah, she still stays here.” Her parents, Sheila and Clay Fletcher, according to The Advocate, released a statement through their attorney: “They don’t want to relive the pain of losing a child through the media. They have been through a lot of heartache over the years. Anyone who has lost a child knows what it’s like,”
“The question on everybody’s mind is, how could they be caretakers living in the house with her and have her get in a condition like that?” D’Aquilla told the Advocate. “It’s cruelty to the infirm. We can’t just let it sit.”
Her parents reportedly told investigators that they thought their daughter was autistic, and that she hadn’t seen a therapist for social anxiety since she was in her twenties, Oxygen continued. They also said that Lacey had an extreme fear of leaving the sofa and had refused to cooperate when they tried to have her committed, the outlet reported. Lacey reportedly stopped eating as much in the autumn of 2021 and died the morning of Jan 3. She was 96 pounds when she died, WBRZ reported.