On Jan. 3, 2022, withinside the city of Slaughter, Louisiana, the Slaughter Police Department answered to a name at a house concerning an unresponsive person. When they arrived at the scene, they determined the frame of 36-year-vintage Lacey Fletcher, included in feces, emaciated, and pretty actually “melted” into the sofa she laid upon. It turned into an sincerely stunning discovery — most effective made even extra terrible while information started to emerge of the way this younger female ended up rotting to demise at the couch in her very own domestic. If you’re squeamish this tale might not be for you — however it’s an vital one to inform.
In the morning hours of January 3rd, 2022, Sheila Fletcher calls 911 after locating her daughter subconscious and unresponsive. Police arrived at the house of Sheila and her husband Clay Fletcher on Tom force and what they could discover taken aback and horrified them. The scent hit them first — as quickly as officials entered the house their nostrils had been assaulted with the acquainted heady fragrance of now no longer most effective demise however urine and human feces. On this 1960s-fashion sofa withinside the residing room, they determined the frame of 36-year-vintage Lacey Fletcher, the most effective daughter of Sheila and Clay.
With the circumstance her frame turned into in, she slightly regarded human. She turned into partly naked. Her toes had been crossed below her and sunk right into a hollow withinside the sofa that turned into full of feces and urine. She turned into essentially sitting on this hollow that were created withinside the couch from the human waste round her. It turned into straight away clean that Lacey had now no longer moved from that sofa in pretty a few time — possibly many years. Her frame turned into included in ulcers that had been so terrible, that they had been rotted to the bone. She herself turned into included in physical fluids and had fecal be counted on each inch of her. Her as soon as blond hair turned into so grimy you couldn’t inform its herbal colour — and it turned into absolutely disheveled and full of maggots.
Lacey’s father turned into status withinside the residing room absolutely emotionless, whilst her mom has her head down on her legs and he or she turned into weeping.
Photos that might be launched through police display that Lacey’s frame had essentially melted into this sofa after years of extreme overlook. Her physical fluids had absolutely eaten thru the upholstery and foam that after crammed the interior of the seams. She had probable laid on that sofa for years with out ever moving.
Of direction — the police had questions for her dad and mom aleven though they did now no longer make an arrest. Still, they desired to understand what the hell had took place and the way Lacey’s frame had deteriorated so badly. According to the reports, they instructed detectives that withinside the fall of final year, their daughter started consuming plenty much less than usual, that’s why she turned into so underweight.
And my preliminary idea is — great, your daughter wasn’t consuming plenty. But how do you give an explanation for actually the whole thing else approximately Lacey’s circumstance? It turned into clean to investigators that there has been extra to this tale and probable some thing crook had took place, in order that they referred to as in again up to start processing the scene.
When an post-mortem turned into finished later that evening, the coroner could decide Lacey’s motive of demise to be because of extreme persistent overlook — we’re speakme as a minimum a decade of clinical overlook. Though her mom could say that she wasn’t consuming lately, the 36-year-vintage weighed most effective 96lbs on the time of her demise. In the end, it turned into malnutrition and bacterial infections from her ulcers that might in the end kill her. She additionally examined effective for Covid, that can have contributed to her demise.
Coroner Dr. Ewell Dewitt Bickham III processed her frame and stated,
“I’ve by no means visible something like this, that actually became my belly as terrible because it did. It actually were given me emotional, and I’m a robust person. This is the worst case of overlook I’ve ever visible.” (Source)
So what took place main as much as this factor? Well right here’s what we understand.
Lacey Ellen Fletcher turned into born on November 25, 1985, to her dad and mom Sheila and Clay Fletcher in Slaughter, Louisiana. The Fletcher own circle of relatives had moved into their two-tale domestic on Tom force while Lacey turned into round nine years vintage, and at that point she fast made pals with a number of the different youngsters who lived at the cul-de-sac. She attended Brownfields Baptist Academy in Baton Rouge in which she regarded to be a completely satisfied younger girl, who loved gambling at the volleyball team. The own circle of relatives frequently attends a Baptist church each Sunday and withinside the beginning, Lacey could go along with them.
At one factor in her college years, Lacey turned into recognized with autism and had advanced a few diploma of Asperger’s. As a toddler, it turned into by no means very apparent to the alternative youngsters she went to highschool with and performed with that there has been something exclusive approximately her. She turned into continually smiling, guffawing and gambling as every other toddler could.
A pal who she met in center college defined her as ‘thoughtful’ and one in all the ‘sweetest human beings you can ever meet’. She stated she continually welcomed friendships and could even exit of her manner to make any novices at college experience comfortable, welcome and at ease.
This classmate, who spoke with DailyMail.com and did now no longer need to be named, could say,
“She turned into thoughtful, simply candy is the phrase I maintain coming again to. One of the sweetest human beings you can ever meet, so very type.” (Source)
Things certainly started to alternate while Lacey grew older and have become a teenager. That’s while Lacey’s autism and struggles together along with her social capabilities have become extra apparent to the ones round her and especially to human beings her very own age who she went to highschool with.
One of the neighbourhood youngsters she grew up with could say that she had very exclusive pastimes than different teens. He defined her as liking a whole lot of the equal matters as younger youngsters could. While ladies her age had been beginning to get into clothes, make-up and boys — Lacey turned into nevertheless very plenty into Disney movies. And hey — there’s sincerely not anything incorrect with that. I understand lots of human beings of every age who love love love Disney and that’s okay — however coupled together along with her issue in following social cues, it made it hard for her to narrate to college students in her elegance and different youngsters in her neighbourhood she could commonly hold out with.
Lacey started to certainly battle at college. She turned into experiencing extreme social tension and retreated from the pals she could commonly experience spending time with. She could meet with a psychologist frequently to attempt to conquer her struggles, however not anything regarded to be running and Lacey persisted to isolate herself. This is while her dad and mom determined to eliminate her from her non-public college and domestic college her — across the ninth grade. And that is additionally while folks who knew her started to peer much less and much less of her. She wasn’t ever visible going to run errands, going to paintings or going to church together along with her dad and mom.
While neighbours consider regularly seeing her across the neighbourhood gambling with different youngsters, being energetic and social, now they not often noticed her.
One neighbour, especially, a 59-year-vintage guy named Robert Blades, stated the final time that he ever noticed Lacey outdoor turned into while she turned into round 21 years vintage, which could were extra than 10 years previous to her demise. She turned into outdoor of her domestic workout with small weights, which he idea turned into a chunk bizarre as Lacey had continually been pretty thin. After that, over time he could regularly see Lacey’s parents out and approximately — however by no means Lacey.
He started to surprise what the heck had took place to her — if she had long gone away for college, moved out on her very own or perhaps were given married — so one time he requested her father Clay in which she turned into and he instructed him she turned into nevertheless at domestic, she turned into fine — after which he modified the subject. This turned into stunning, due to the fact as I stated — nobody had visible her in all of these years.
As it might flip out, the purpose for this turned into due to the fact Lacey had now no longer left the house, and probable by no means left the sofa she could be located on — for over 12 years. And most effective her dad and mom could understand what had took place in the back of closed doors.
As I mentioned, to start with police didn’t arrest anyone — which I discover certainly bizarre. They handled each Sheila and Clay as grieving dad and mom, which of direction they had been. Basically, that they’d by no means handled a case like this and weren’t certainly positive a way to continue further. The neighbourhood reacted the equal manner — every body got here collectively to provide their condolences to the Fletchers.
As for Sheila and Clay, they published a brief message on Facebook that read, “Mom and Dad love you so plenty,” along side a hyperlink to Lacey’s obituary, which turned into additionally fantastically quick. It had no touching phrases on the subject of Lacey’s loving heart, not anything approximately her pastimes or what approximately her could be missed. In my opinion, it’s a completely bloodless obituary.
“Lacey Fletcher, daughter of Clay and Sheila Fletcher of Slaughter, Louisiana, turned into referred to as to be together along with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on January 3, 2022.
Relatives and pals are invited to sign up for the own circle of relatives for the visitation at Baker Funeral Home, 6401 Groom Road, on Tuesday, January 11, 2022, from 1:00 PM till 3:00 PM, with a quick graveside carrier straight away following at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens in Baker, Louisiana.
To ship vegetation to the own circle of relatives or plant a tree in reminiscence of Lacey Ellen Fletcher, please go to our floral store.”
And that’s it. Normally I attempt now no longer to decide the movements someone would possibly take after dropping a cherished one, I’ve by no means misplaced a toddler so I can’t start to believe how that could experience. But with the manner that Lacey turned into located, I consider the movements of her dad and mom to be vile. Their loss of take care of her while she turned into alive, along side their loss of attempt in honouring her — turns my belly. Of direction, while phrase were given out to the media approximately Lacey’s circumstance, human beings had been outraged.
Clay and Sheila had been feeling the general public stress and refused to cope with it outright. Instead, they launched a announcement thru their lawyer that stated,
“They don’t need to relive the ache of dropping a toddler thru the media. They were thru a whole lot of heartache over time. Anyone who had misplaced a toddler is aware of what it’s like.” (Source)
And whilst ethically, it’s very clean that those dad and mom did some thing monstrous — matters are extra complex in relation to the regulation. That’s why the Sheriff who turned into to start with in rate of the case determined to show the whole thing over to the district lawyer’s workplace and allow a grand jury determine what expenses if any could be delivered ahead in opposition to Lacey’s dad and mom.
twentieth Judicial District Attorney Samuel D’Aquilla could say, quote:
“If we’ve got an outright homicide, we arrest the human beings straight away. If we’ve got a case like this, in which the dad and mom aren’t going anywhere, every so often they’re now no longer arrested. We’re all the consensus that we’re going to allow the grand jury manage it.” (Source)
It’s believed that Lacey spent 12 years on that sofa with out ever moving — so this turned into a completely sluggish and agonizing demise, now no longer some thing like a short homicide — as though her dad and mom had completed some thing to kill her. For this purpose, the district’s lawyer’s workplace could have to talk with specialists and docs to have their testimony to again up what they believed may be a second-diploma homicide rate. And they had been capable of do simply that. Four months after Lacey’s decomposing frame turned into located on that sofa, on May 2nd, 2022, a grand jury of 12 charged Lacey Fletcher’s dad and mom, Clay and Sheila Fletcher, with second-diploma homicide.
Apparently, it wasn’t even a near name to manslaughter. The jury turned into proven all the terrible snap shots of Lacey’s emaciated frame which had sores throughout that had been right all the way down to the bone. They noticed the sofa that she spent 12 years residing on, complete of her very own physical fluids. So badly deteriorated that the sofa had a massive hollow in it, and Lacey essentially sank into this hollow. The snap shots had been so traumatic and scary that the courts had medics on standby in case that they’d a intellectual fitness incident requiring remedy.
The following day after the expenses had been laid, on May 3rd — the couple bonded out of prison on a $300,000 bond.
So far, it appears as though the Fletcher’s will attempt to keep their innocence. According to investigators, they’ve insisted from the start that because of Lacey’s Asperger’s syndrome and social tension, she desired to be homeschooled — and he or she turned into the only who insisted she by no means depart the sofa. She turned into the only who determined to defecate and urinate at the sofa as opposed to getting as much as visit the bathroom, and in order that they simply allow her.
Sheila could say that she stored her daughter’s sores easy and that Lacey by no means complained that they had been bothering her. Even while Lacey’s fitness actually deteriorated, they by no means delivered her to a doctor. They by no means sought outdoor assist.
Now right here is the kicker — you won’t consider what Sheila did for employment, and in my opinion, it makes her even extra culpable due to the fact she knew what she turned into doing turned into incorrect and he or she had the sources at her fingertips to get assist for her daughter if she desired to.
Sheila turned into a police and courtroom docket clerk withinside the small close by town of Baker. She actually labored with regulation enforcement. And even extra these days she had labored as an assistant to the town prosecutor withinside the network of Zachary, which turned into a city over.
In my opinion, there’s sincerely no manner that she did now no longer understand that she turned into abusing her daughter and could in the end kill her through now no longer offering the simple requirements of lifestyles. The final time she noticed a medical doctor of any type, or any type turned into while she turned into 16 years vintage — her dad and mom persisted to stay their lifestyles and permit their daughter to rot away on their sofa.
The Fletcher’s first arraignment could be arising quickly and an ordeal may want to start as early as October.
People like Lacey are our society’s maximum vulnerable. To assume that her dad and mom may want to do some thing like this to her and escape with it for extra than a decade is unacceptable. We all want to do a higher task of retaining a watch out for one another. This ought to have by no means took place to Lacey.
District lawyer D’Aquilla, stated it best:
“I desire this indictment brings a few highlight to sufferers of this form of crime. The coroner has a whole lot of authority, a whole lot of power. If human beings don’t need to get remedy or they decline remedy, visit the coroner’s workplace, visit regulation enforcement, test in your neighbors, test in your pals. If you’re a caregiver, attain out and ensure human beings are taken care of.” (Source)
I could be following the trial very intently and I’m positive there could be extra information to return back that shed extra mild on how Lacey’s case certainly fell thru the cracks. I’m fascinated to peer what sort of defence her dad and mom attempt to deliver ahead. In my non-public opinion, I don’t assume there’s something they may probably say that might be a legitimate defence for letting their stunning daughter simply rot away on that sofa.
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About the author
Nikki Young is the host of the worldwide genuine crime podcast, Serial Napper. Each episode capabilities a exclusive genuine crime tale, instructed succinctly the manner it took place. Serial Napper is to be had on Apple, Spotify, or anyplace you concentrate for your podcasts.