hands holding bars on a jail cell door

Parents of Woman Found ‘Melted’ to Sofa Indicted on Murder Charges

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.

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Lacey Fletcher
Lacey Fletcher. Image credit: Handout

“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.

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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. 

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“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.

sofa
Lacey Fletcher’s boyd was found fused or ‘melted’ to this sofa. Image Credit: East Feliciana Parish Coroner’s Office

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.

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“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.

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“On a murder, you have to have intent,” he said. “Did they want to kill her? I want to say yeah, they wanted to kill her.”

Read: Disturbing Houston Nursing Home Experience Shared by Victim’s Granddaughter

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Sent To Prison, But Let Out On Bond

The court charged Sheila and Clay of criminal neglect and second-degree murder. Each parent then posted a bond at $300,000. Sheila left prison 12 hours later, though she had to return to pick up her husband Clay the next morning. His bond money took longer to be processed. They used a bondsman, which means they had to cover 12% of the cost themselves. This totals $76,000.

Now, the couple awaits further trial. D’Aquilla says that their first arraignment is likely to be within two months and a trial could commence as early as October.

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Parents of woman ‘left to rot on sofa for 12 years’ face murder charge
Lacey Fletcher’s parents. Image Credit: East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office

“I hope this indictment brings some spotlight to victims of this type of crime,” said D’Aquila. “The coroner has a lot of authority, a lot of power. If people don’t want to get treatment or they refuse treatment, go to the coroner’s office, go to law enforcement, check on your neighbors, check on your friends. If you are a care giver, reach out and make sure people are taken care of.”

Keep Reading: Car Owner Who Left Jeep at Dealership Gets Sued After Worker Dies During Oil Change

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Sources

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  1. Parents of woman ‘left to rot away on sofa for 12 years’ charged with murder.” Independent. Bevan Hurley. May, 4 2022.
  2. EXCLUSIVE: Parents charged with murder of autistic daughter whose body was found fused to the couch by her own feces BOTH walk free after posting $300,000 bond 12 hours apart.” Daily Mail. Greg Woodfield. May 4, 2022.
Julie Hambleton
Freelance Writer
Julie Hambleton has a BSc in Food and Nutrition from the Western University, Canada, is a former certified personal trainer and a competitive runner. Julie loves food, culture, and health, and enjoys sharing her knowledge to help others make positive changes and live healthier lives.
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