Louisiana Parents have been charged with murder for the death of their daughter 36-year-old Lacey Fletcher. She died in what the local sheriff has said is one of the most horrific scenes he has ever seen. The authorities found her essentially melted into the couch in a pool of her own bodily fluids after the severely autistic woman died of medical neglect.
Parents of Lacey Fletcher Convicted of Murder
On January third of this year, Lacey Fletcher’s mother Sheila called the authorities when she discovered that her daughter wasn’t breathing. When the deputies reached the house, they discovered a scene horrific beyond imagination. Lacey was sitting cross-legged on the couch in a pool of her own feces, urine, and was covered in maggots – the stench was unbearable. She weighed just 96 pounds. (1)
When authorities found Lacey, they discovered her underside covered in sores that reached all the way to the bone. She was partially naked sitting upright on the couch. The photos were so bad that the court provided medical staff on-sight for the members of the jury who had to see them.
“The cause of death stemmed from severe medical neglect, which led to chronic malnutrition, acute starvation, immobility, acute ulcer formation, osteomyelitis, which is bone infection which led finally to sepsis,” said coroner Dr. Ewell Bickham. (2)
The couple had gone away for the weekend, and the coroner Dr. Bickham says that it appears as though she had already been dead for 24 to 48 hours. What’s worse, judging by the state of her body, which was practically melted to the couch by her own fluids, she seems to have been sitting on the couch for at least 12 years. Dr. Bickham says that the cause of Lacey’s death was at least a decade of medical neglect.
Read: Texas Mom Home With 3 Sleeping Children Shoots, Kills Home Invader. State’s Castle Doctrine Protects Her.
A Neglected Child
Lacey apparently had two diagnoses: Social anxiety and severe Asperger’s Syndrome. It is one form of the autism spectrum disorder diagnosis (ASD) also known as autism. She had no family physician at the time of her death. In fact, the last time her parents visited a doctor to talk about Lacey was in 2010. Lacey was not with them.
“In 2010, the parents went to the doctor’s office without Lacey and asked his advice on what to do. She is increasingly not wanting to leave the house, not wanting to leave the sofa, just totally recluse,” said Dr. Bickham.
The doctor apparently told them to bring Lacey to the hospital, however, they never did. From there, it appears that they just let her sit on the couch like that for the next 12 years. The parents were adamant that Lacey was of sound mind to make her own decisions, and also that she never complained about sores. Sheila also claims that she regularly cleaned the sores.
“The conditions in which she was found, it’s just unbelievable,” said District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla. “I mean, you don’t treat anybody or any animal like that.”
D’Aquilla says that this wasn’t just a neglect case, but that this was a homicide.