Photos expose Lacey Ellen Fletcher's AGONY, despite parents' home stocked with cleaning products
The graphic images helped convince a grand jury to charge Lacey's parents Sheila and Clay Fletcher with second-degree murder
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SLAUGHTER, LOUISIANA: Lacey Fletcher's inner agony was chronicled in harrowing forensic photographs before she died slathered in her own feces on her parents' couch in January. The 36-year-old autistic woman remained on the sofa at her parents Clay and Sheila Fletcher's otherwise pristine home in the small Louisiana town of Slaughter for the past 12 years.
Authorities in East Feliciana Parish shared a photo of the sofa in which she fibbed, illustrating the depth of her secret agony, and the news of her tragic death made headlines last week. The graphic image was one of the hundreds displayed to a newly sworn-in grand jury in Clinton, Louisiana, during a closed hearing that the press was not allowed to attend. The violent photos convinced the committee's 12 members to charge Sheila and Clay Fletcher, who were church leaders in their community, with second-degree murder and a life sentence without parole. Soon after, the two were arrested and were released after 36 hours on a $300,000 bond each. District Attorney Sam D'Aquilla, who initiated the murder charges and will prosecute the Fletchers at trial, shared the photos with DailyMail.com from his office near the courthouse in Clinton. He would not, however, allow them to be published because of their horrific visual details as the vast majority of them were unpublishable.
MailOnline described the pictures as Lacey was completely buried in the huge and deep hole in the sofa that her bony frame has worn over the years, scraping away the cushions. Her right arm is draped over the top part of her skeletal body near her neck, and she is leaned over on her left side. Her only clothing is a little blue patterned t-shirt that is pushed up on her chest but does not cover her breasts. Her gaze is fixed on something. Her mouth is likewise open, exposing a complete set of front teeth. Her legs are pulled up and crossed beneath her, ironically in a way that people get comfortable. Lacey's posture, on the other hand, was for survival.
According to the Daily Mail, Lacey's face is blotched with furious crimson spots. Her entire body is covered with feces. Her hair has become knotted. It's even gotten into her ears. The brown leather couch that acted as her jail is next to a wall, with roughly an 18-inch space between them. Surprisingly, there is a grey toilet and a nice pile of clothing to the right of the sofa. A messy low black table is barely a few feet away in the front. Scattered with lotion bottles, talcum powder, wipes, nose spray, a box with a child's portrait on the lid, and other objects that make it appear that the Fletchers had the things required to clean their unwell child. Two DVD boxes were neatly kept between the sofa and the table. The titles were difficult to detect, although several of the covers looked to be of children's movies.
Lacey's traumatic and inexplicable ordeal is further revealed by images of her taken later on a physician's steel table for a forensic examination. When she was discovered dead in the early hours of January 3, she weighed only 96 pounds. The skin on her buttocks looks to have actually worn or eaten away from the 12 years she hadn't moved off the couch, according to close-ups. Her skin has vanished, there are big raw yellow regions. Her back and buttock areas are so blackened that a layperson can't recognize any shape or form.
Sheila Fletcher, 64, and her husband Clay Fletcher, 65, were arrested on Monday, May 2, and charged with second-degree murder in the death of their daughter Lacey.
Lacey died of severe medical negligence, which resulted in chronic malnutrition, acute hunger, immobility, acute ulcer development, osteomyelitis, which is a bone infection, and eventually sepsis. Lacey had social anxiety and severe autism. She hadn't seen a doctor since she was 16 years old. Coroner Dr Ewell Bickham told DailyMail.com that the photographs left those in the courtroom muted. "When I was presenting the case and showed the pictures and gave the timeline the expressions of the grand jury were utter shock," he said, adding, "Like the clock on the wall never moved again."