Neglected woman who died on parents' sofa starved to death, had not seen doctor in 20 years
SLAUGHTER - Information obtained by the WBRZ Investigative Unit Thursday indicates a 36-year-old woman who died on her parents' sofa starved to death. An autopsy showed that was one of three causes contributing to her death.
Lacey Fletcher weighed 96 pounds when she was discovered. Sofa foam and feces were found in her stomach, according to East Feliciana Coroner Dr. Ewell Bickham. The autopsy also found feces in her nostrils, under her finger nails and in her hair.
Fletcher's parents, Sheila and Clay Fletcher were described as the church-going type and were always out and about. Lacey died Monday Jan. 3, 2022. The weekend before, the parents were out of town the WBRZ Investigative Unit learned.
"They go to church every weekend and do anything for anybody," Neighbor Robert Blades said.
The Investigative Unit learned the last time Fletcher 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.
Fletcher had a severe case of autism and was non-verbal in recent years. However, people we spoke to who knew her said she was verbal when she was in school.
"I just knew she was different," Blades recalled. "She used to come out, walk... But I hadn't seen Lacey in five years."
In addition to the rotted couch, the wooden floors were saturated in urine and feces and were buckling underneath the sofa.
Monday, the case will go before a grand jury to determine whether the parents will face charges. Sheila is a former alderman in the Town of Slaughter and resigned her post after her daughter died.
The parents could face charges ranging from cruelty to the infirmed to murder.
Advocates once again called for the parents to be arrested.
"It was a crime," Khadijah Gray-Washington with The Arc Baton Rouge said. "Literally, someone lost their life."