The Neglect of Lacey Ellen Fletcher

The small town of Slaughter, Louisiana, has been thrust into the national spotlight following the harrowing case of Lacey Ellen Fletcher, a 36-year-old autistic woman found dead in her family home in January 2022. The case has raised questions about the responsibilities of caregivers, the role of the community, and the complexities of the legal system.

Lacey Fletcher had not been seen in public for nearly 15 years before her tragic death. According to neighbors, she was last seen exercising outside her home when she was around 21 years old. "She was just a fun, normal kid," said Robert Blades, a close neighbor. However, Lacey began to retreat into isolation around the age of 14, as her autism symptoms worsened. She was homeschooled after the 9th grade.

Lacey's body was found fused to a sofa, covered in her own excrement. The East Feliciana Parish Coroner described her as having "melted" into the piece of furniture. She was covered in maggots and sores, had ulcers on her underside, and fecal matter on her face, chest, and abdomen. She weighed a skeletal 96 pounds and tested positive for COVID-19 posthumously.

Lacey's parents, Sheila and Clay Fletcher, were initially indicted on charges of second-degree murder. However, the charges were dismissed over technicalities, only for the couple to be re-indicted. "We will ensure there is justice for Lacey," said District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla.

The Fletchers have maintained their innocence, claiming that Lacey was "of sound mind" and refused to leave the living room, where they brought her meals and set up a potty. Their lead lawyer, Steven Moore, objected to what they called defective language in the charging affidavits.

Pictures of Lacey:
Pictures of her Parents:
The Couch She Was Found On:
The Couch Lacey Ellen Fletcher Was Found On