The Living Hell of Lacey Ellen Fletcher: Locked-in woman was left on sofa for 12 YEARS, parents charged with murder
WARNING: This article contains information that some people may find triggering or upsetting. Discretion is advised.
The parents of profoundly autistic Lacey Ellen Fletcher, who died 'fused' to a sofa by her own feces face, were arrested on Monday, April 2, and face life in prison under second-degree murder charges.
Clay, 65, and Sheila, 64, were picked up by sheriff's officers and hauled off to East Feliciana Parish Jail in Clinton, Louisiana, according to jail photos acquired by DailyMail.com. Sheriff Jeffery Travis informed DailyMail.com: "We picked them up, arrested them, brought them to the jail and we're in the process of booking them in. Their bond is not my purview. The judge sets the bond and she will work with their attorney for that. I'd say the bond will be really high."
Arrest warrants were issued for the Fletchers immediately following the grand jury judgment. Dr. Ewell Bickham III of East Feliciana Parish Coroner's Office told DailyMail.com on Monday that the photographs of Lacey's condition were so horrible and frightening that medics would be on standby for the jury members. The horrible images of the scenario left everyone in the room dumbfounded.
According to Louisiana state law, Sheila Fletcher would most likely be transferred to prison until at least the bail problem is resolved since there is a time limit for females being kept in jail. Clay, her husband, will remain in the parish jail. The first arraignment is scheduled to take place in two to three weeks. Lacey's malnourished body was discovered half nude, sitting upright, and partially buried in a crack in a sofa completely covered in urine, liquid excrement, maggots, and bug bites on January 3 at her parent's otherwise immaculate single-family house in Slaughter. Her feet were crossed under her on the couch, deep inside the hole, her long-suffering body had carved through both the fabric and the cushion. Dr. Ewell Bickham III stated that she has been confined to the sofa for at least 12 years. Lacey also had feces smeared on her face, breast, and tummy, according to reports. Her hair was matted, twisted, and full of maggots — and she weighed less than 100 pounds.
District Attorney D'Aquilla said outside the court: "I believe justice was served here today. Lacey Fletcher didn't deserve the way she was treated. For this type of crime… second degree is the highest charge that could have been produced today." On Monday afternoon, the Fletchers were arrested. According to Dr. Bickham. "Evidence wise, a minimum of 12 years," he added, "Could be before that. At least 12 years. A terribly long period of time."
The doctor also disclosed the shocking cause of death. He said: "The cause of death stemmed from severe medical neglect, which led to chronic malnutrition, acute starvation, immobility, acute ulcer formation, osteomyelitis which is a bone infection which led finally to sepsis."
Dr. Bickham also clarified a misconception concerning Lacey's real illness, which had previously been characterized as 'Locked-In' Syndrome. "I don't know where that term came from or what source it came from. In all my years as a practicing physician, I have never heard of that term. The only diagnoses that I know she did have was first, social anxiety, severe autism and that's it. Those are her only two diagnoses. The last time she saw a physician of any type or any kind was when she was 16 years old. That picture of her was when she was 16."
Lacey's killing was a 'crime against humanity,' according to DA D'Aquilla, who added: "I hope this indictment brings some spotlight to victims of this type of crime. 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 caregiver, reach out and make sure people are taken care of. This case was so horrific that the coroner and the sheriff's office initially investigated this case in January and the conditions that she was found it was just unbelievable. You don't treat anybody or any animals like that. Something had to be done and we all got together, we all stood on the same platform and we are all here now and we have an indictment for second-degree murder," the DailyMail.com reported.