THE parents of Lacey Fletcher, the woman left starving covered in maggots and sores in a couch-crater, are out of jail on bond, authorities say.
Sheila and Clay Fletcher were released on May 3 and May 4 after each posted $300,000 bond, according to Sheriff Jeff Travis.
The Fletchers were indicted for second-degree murder by a grand jury on May 2 in the death of their daughter.
Following the indictment, the Fletchers turned themselves in to East Feliciana Parish Jail.
District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla told the Daily Mail the couple could be arraigned within the next two months. A trial could begin as soon as October.
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.
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Lacey, 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.
Bickham ruled the woman’s death a homicide. He told WAFB, “Her cause of death stems from at least a decade of medical neglect.”
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The coroner’s office also found that starvation contributed greatly to Lacey Fletcher’s death, WBRZ reports.
“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.”
The Daily Mail reported that Lacey had not seen a doctor for 20 years and there were a few neighbors in the family’s small community that didn’t know the Fletchers had a daughter.
D’Aquilla said it is unclear if anyone but Lacey’s parents saw her in the years leading up to her death.
She was home schooled from the time she was in high school and experienced severe social anxiety as a teen, her parents said.
The family took Lacey to a forensic psychiatrist in 2010, where she was diagnosed with severe autism after she refused to leave the couch.
The Fletchers were told that Lacey needed to be evaluated at a hospital and to admit her to an inpatient facility, said Bickham.
“Intervention should have happened a long time before this tragedy,” said Sheriff Jeffery Travis. “You can’t just let someone rot away.
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.
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.
It’s unknown when Lacey last left the couch.
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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