UPDATE 3/21/24:

The parents of a 36-year-old shut-in who was found covered in maggots and with sores on her body were sentenced to jail.

Clay and Shelia Fletcher were each sentenced to 40 years for the death of their daughter, but 20 years of each sentence was suspended according to a report by WBRZ.

When the woman was found almost "melted" into the maggot-invested couch she only weighed 96 pounds.

The judge said her parents basically let their daughter die of neglect.

According to the WBRZ The Investigate Unit

learned the last time Lacey saw a physician was in 2002 when she was 16 years old. For nearly 20 years, she was left unchecked and sources said there were no health insurance claims on her record.

Dr. Donald Hoppe testified at the trial the last time he spoke with Mr. Fletcher about his daughter was in 2010. He told him at that time the young woman needed help, but officials say nothing happened according to the insurance records.

The woman ended up dying from sepsis. The coroner of East Feliciana Parish, Dr. Ewell Bickham, says it's one of the most gruesome death scenes he ever encountered. There was so much urine surrounding the couch the woman was living on that the floor was actually buckling beneath her.

He said,

I've dealt with every type of death there is, natural, accidental, suicide, homicide, every kind there is. This was the most gruesome, unnatural death that I've seen, and it's affected me. If someone is having issues, if someone has mental health issues, there are resources out there and social programs.

Defense attorneys for Clay and Shelia Fletcher say their clients loved and cared for their daughter and never meant for her to get hurt.


The parents of a 36-year-old shut-in who ended up being found dead on a couch in their home could face murder charges according to The Advocate.

The 20th District District Attorney, Sam D'Aquilla, said this week that they do not know how long Lacey Ellen Fletcher was on the sofa, but when she was found she was covered in maggots, feces, and ulcers.

The parents of the young woman issued a statement through their attorney, Steven Moore this week, saying that they are dealing with their own pain.

Moore is quoted as saying

They don't want to relieve the pain of losing a child through the media. They have been through a lot of heartache over the years. Anyone who has lost a child knows what it's like.

The girl was found dead on the couch at the home of her parents, Sheila and Clay Fletcher. As far as to the extent of what the woman's issues were that information has not been released.

D'Aquilla says he will ask for the grand jury reviewing the case to hand down second-degree murder charges. He contends,

The caretakers just let her sit on the couch. She just urinated and used the bathroom on the couch. It was so horrific

An investigation has been going on since the 36-year-old was found dead sunken into the couch on January 3 at the Fletcher's home in Slaughter which is in East Feliciana Parish. Lacey's mother, Sheila Fletcher, was a town alderman.

The district attorney says it's possible that the young woman had been on that couch for years, but it's evident that she suffered severe neglect.

Dr. Ewell Bickham III conducted the autopsy and ruled the death a homicide. While the coroner can't speak directly to the media as the investigation is ongoing, D'Aquilla told the newspaper that the girl suffered from bacterial infections and ulcers, and she was also positive for COVID-19.

When deputies got to the scene they were greeted by a foul stench. The Advocate report says D'Aquilla says the girl was basically sitting on a hole in the couch "filled with stool and urine. Severe ulcers covered her underside, which appeared 'rotten to the bone'. Fecal matter was crushed into her face, chest, and abdomen. Her hair was matted, knotted, and filled with maggots."

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