Activists want parents of neglected woman in jail; parents react through lawyer
SLAUGHTER - Advocates for those with disabilities believe the parents of a severely neglected woman who was found dead on a couch should be in jail.
Khadijah Gray-Washington first heard about what happened to Lacey Fletcher after The WBRZ Investigative Unit reported she was found dead in her parents' home covered in feces and insects, "melted" into the couch.
"A crime was committed," Gray-Washington with the Arc of Baton Rouge said.
Gray-Washington said it's her life's work to advocate for those with disabilities. That includes people like Lacey, who had a severe case of Asperger's.
Sources said Lacey was sitting in a "latrine" and was likely in the same position for years. The couch disintegrated through the cushions.
Dr. Ewell Bickham—coroner for East Feliciana Parish—told WBRZ he immediately contacted law enforcement, which processed the house as a crime scene in early January.
"That individual would need someone to advocate for them," Gray-Washington said. "So again, someone not being involved or knowing that's going on, that's a crime because that person can't advocate for themselves."
Sheila and Clay Fletcher are well known in the Slaughter community. Sheila was a former alderman who resigned her post after her daughter's death in January. Neighbors said they would routinely see them coming and going from the house.
"They go to church every weekend and do anything for anybody," Robert Blades said.
Steven Moore, an attorney representing Sheila and Clay Fletcher, released the following statement Wednesday:
"They don't want to relive the pain of losing a child through the media. They have been through a lot of heartache over the years. Anyone who had lost a child knows what it's like."
Monday, a grand jury in East Feliciana Parish will determine if charges are necessary for the parents tied to Lacey's death.
"They should have gone to jail that night," Gray-Washington said.
Sheriff Jeff Travis said the parents were not arrested because they knew the case was going to a grand jury Monday.
Gray-Washington urged anyone who needs help with someone with disabilities to contact the Arc Baton Rouge. They can be reached at 225-927-0855.
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