Daughter with locked-in syndrome found dead fused with sofa as parents could face charges

29 April 2022, 13:40 | Updated: 29 April 2022, 14:28

Lacey Ellen Fletcher pictured as a teenager
Lacey Ellen Fletcher pictured as a teenager. Picture: Handout

By Asher McShane

The parents of a US woman whose body was found decomposing on a sofa in her home could face charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter.

Lacey Ellen Fletcher, 36, was found dead at home in Slaughter, Louisiana, in what a coroner described as a scene like a “horror movie”.

Her parents, Shelia, 64 and Clay Fletcher, 65, will face a grand jury on Monday accused of causing her death after neglecting her care for years.

Lacey Ellen was found partially clothed, sitting upright but sunk down into the sofa, which was soaked in human waste.

Read more: Katie Kenyon: Man charged with mother-of-two's murder learns trial date

Her decomposing body was found on the sofa in her home
Her decomposing body was found on the sofa in her home. Picture: East Feliciana Parish coroner's office

She was covered in insect bites and surrounded by insects and rodent droppings, a coroner told DailyMail.com.

East Feliciana Parish Coroner Dr. Ewell Dewitt Bickham III said: “The scene was sickening. I've seen some horrible things in my life but nothing like this.

“It's unconscionable, something you make horror movies about.”

Lacey suffered from locked-in syndrome, a rare neurological disorder characterised by complete paralysis of voluntary muscles, except for those that control the eyes.

Police arrived at the home in the suburb north of Baton Rouge on January 3 to find the scene after her parents called 911 because Lacey wasn't breathing, prosecutors said.

The parents were supposed to be the girl's care providers, but the coroner said she had not been to a doctor in 20 years. 

Lacey’s death has been ruled a homicide and the “cause behind her death stems from at least a decade of medical neglect”, Dr Bickham said.

Her parents have not been arrested or charged with any crimes so far. The district attorney is aims to bring second-degree murder charges on them with help of a grand jury.

The hearing is expected to take place next week, on 2 May.