Who was Lacey Ellen Fletcher? Woman, 36, with locked-in syndrome found FUSED to couch; parents held
BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA: Shelia, 64, and Clay Fletcher, 65, will appear before a grand jury on Monday, 2 April, after their 36-year-old daughter Lacey Ellen was discovered partially naked, sitting upright and submerged in a hole in a couch covered from head to toe in urine, liquid feces, and insect bites, with live bugs and rodent excrement nearby, according to East Feliciana Parish Coroner Dr Ewell Dewitt Bickham.
Lacey was discovered by cops fused to a living room sofa, covered in insects, and her own bodily fluid.
Shelia and Clay are charged with second-degree murder. Lacey had locked-in syndrome, a rare neurological condition that causes full paralysis of voluntary muscles that saves those controlling the eyes. Prosecutors claimed police arrived at the ranch-style home in a neighborhood north of Baton Rouge on January 3 to find the gruesome sight after Lacey's parents phoned 911 because she wasn't breathing. The parents were meant to be the girl's primary caregivers, but Bickham claimed she hadn't seen a doctor in 20 years. Lacey had locked-in syndrome, a rare neurological condition that causes full paralysis of voluntary muscles save those controlling the eyes.
"The scene was sickening. I've seen some horrible things in my life but nothing like this," said Bickham a medical worker since the 1970s. "It's unconscionable, something you make horror movies about," he said.
He told DailyMail.com that he immediately phoned his investigator because he suspected it was a "possible crime scene." "The parents were in the kitchen. They did not have an explanation," he said.
He ruled her death murder and attributed it to medical malpractice. He recorded her death time as 3:07 am on January 3, 2022, although he believes she died at least 24-48 hours before. According to Sheila Fletcher's LinkedIn page, she was an official who resigned from the town's Board of Aldermen on January 24, three weeks after her daughter died. She served four years in government, most recently as mayor pro tem.
Bickham will bring the case to a grand jury on Monday with the aim of prosecuting the parents in their daughter's murder. "I probably won't even have to open my mouth the pictures will show it," Bickham. The couple's lawyer Steven Moore made a statement on his client's behalf. "They don't want to relive the pain of losing a child through the media. They have been through a lot of heartaches over the years. Anyone who had lost a child knows what it's like," Moore said.
According to District Attorney Sam D'Aquilla, the parents were never taken to jail because they are not deemed flight threats. A 12-person jury will deliberate in a private session at the Clinton County Courthouse on accusations of manslaughter, negligent homicide, or second-degree murder, he added.
"Negligent homicide is zero to five years; manslaughter is zero to 40 years and second-degree is life in prison. I will ask for second-degree because they didn't do what they were supposed to do," he said. Lacey's parents were her primary caregivers, according to D'Aquilla, and she did not have an assistant. "We don't treat animals or neglect our animals in that way. If you have an animal in that condition you take them to the vet," he said.