Harrowing evidence photos reveal the extent of Lacey Fletcher's ordeal (2023)

Lacey Fletcher's emaciated body was found partially naked, seated and partially submerged in a hole in a sofa at her parents' home on January 11, 2019.

Harrowing photographic evidence has revealed the full excruciating horror of Lacey Fletcher's personal hell before she died on her parents' couch in January, caked in her own excrement.

The 36-year-old autistic woman stayed on the sofa at the home of parents Clay and Sheila Fletcher, both 64, in the small town of Slaughter.Louisiana, since 12 years.

News of her grisly death made headlines last week after East Feliciana community officials released a photo of the crater of the sofa she was on, highlighting the gravity of her secret ordeal.

The gruesome image was one of dozens shown to a newly sworn jury Monday in Clinton, Louisiana, during a closed session that the media was barred from attending.

Now DailyMail.com has official access to the unseen photos and can reveal the untold extent of Lacey's suffering, who disappeared from public view some 15 years ago.


Sheila Fletcher and Clay Fletcher were arrested Monday and charged with second-degree murder in the death of their daughter Lacey, 36.

A harrowing photo released by the coroner's office shows a close-up of the leather couch Lacey had fused into. The coroner estimates that Lacey has been sitting in that hole in the couch for the last 12 years.

Additional photos seen by DailyMail.com - and not released to the public - Lacey, who was autistic - buried almost up to her shoulders in a couch crater and suffocated in her own rubbish

They show Lacey's emaciated, fecal-covered body buried deep in a large hole in the couch, the items that were strewn around her in the room she died in, as well as heartbreaking close-ups of the horrific injuries sustained contributed to her death.

(Video) The Despicable Case of Lacey Fletcher

The gruesome footage helped convince the panel of 12 to charge parents Sheila and Clay Fletcher, who were pillars of the church in their community, with second-degree murder - and face a life sentence without parole.

The two were arrested shortly thereafter, but were released from prison within 36 hours for $300,000 each.

District Attorney Sam D'Aquilla, who has been prosecuting murder charges and who will indict Fletcher in court, shared the footage with DailyMail.com in his office near the Clinton courthouse.

However, he would not approve them for publication. Almost all were unpublishable due to their gruesome graphic content.

Inside them, Lacey is buried almost shoulder-deep in the wide, deep hole in the couch that her bony body has used over the years, rubbing the upholstery.

She is lying on her left side, her right arm is wrapped around the upper half of her thin body near her neck.

She is nude except for a small blue patterned t-shirt that is pulled over her chest and does not cover her breasts.

His eyes are wide open and staring.

His mouth is also open, showing what appears to be a full set of front teeth.

Her legs are pulled up and crossed under her, ironically in a way that people can get comfortable with. But in Lacey's case, it was an attitude of trying to survive.

Former classmates said Lacey began isolating as a teenager when her autism increased and she was homeschooled after 9th grade.

Lacey attended the former Brownsville Baptist Academy in Louisiana, where she (above left) appeared on the school's volleyball team - as seen in photos obtained exclusively by DailyMail.com

A photo of the two story house on Tom Drive in Slaughter where Lacey lived with her parents

Her face is covered in large angry red spots. The excrement is spread over most of his body. It got tangled in your hair. It's even in their ears.

The brown leather sofa that served as his prison is about 40 centimeters apart against a wall.

Surprisingly, on the right side of the couch is a gray dresser and a pile of neat clothes.

(Video) DESPICABLE! Murder Charges After Daughter Found MELTED in Couch | Lacey Fletcher

And in front of it, just a few feet away, is a low, untidy black table.

It's crammed with bottles of lotion, some baby powder, a packet of baby wipes, a nasal spray, a lidded box with a picture of a child, and other items that make it seem like the Fletchers had the means to clean only the wounded. Child.

Between the sofa and the table are two neatly stacked DVD cases. I couldn't make out the titles, but some looked childish on the covers.

Desperately sad photos of Lacey, later snapped on a doctor's steel table for a forensic examination, reveal the extent of her harrowing and previously unexplained ordeal.

She weighed just 96 pounds when she was found dead in the early hours of January 3.

Close-ups show that the flesh on her buttocks seems to have literally been worn out or eaten away since she hadn't moved off the couch at age 12.

There are large, raw yellow areas where the skin has gone. Other areas of the back and buttocks are so blackened that it is impossible for a layperson to discern any shape or form.

Neighbors revealed that Lacey (centre) came across as "a fun, normal kid" before becoming increasingly isolated from her neighborhood friends from the age of 14

Sheila Fletcher, 64, was seen returning to East Feliciana Parish Jail - from where she was released Tuesday night - to pick up her husband Wednesday morning after he posted $300,000 bail

Clay Fletcher is also charged with second-degree murder in the death of the couple's 36-year-old autistic daughter, Lacey Ellen Fletcher.

Part of a video recorded by coroner Dr. Ewell Bickham was also spotted by DailyMail.com. He was one of the first on the scene after a sheriff's deputy responded to an 911 call — and documented the grisly spectacle.

He's breathing heavily as he moves the camera into the gap behind the couch and the wall. On the floor just behind Lacey's body is a large wet spot which he mistakes for urine.

(Video) Parents Watched as Disabled Daughter Melted into Her Own Waste - Lacey Ellen Fletcher

DA D'Aquilla said in revealing the horror to us, "You can't say she wasn't in pain."

The doctor. Bickham revealed that Lacey died of "serious medical malpractice resulting in chronic malnutrition, acute starvation, immobility, acute ulceration and osteomyelitis, a bone infection that ultimately led to sepsis."

Lacey suffered from social anxiety and severe autism, he added. The last time she saw a doctor was when she was 16.

D'Aquilla believes the couple will plead not guilty to second-degree murder, and his legal team will fight to have the charges reduced to at least involuntary manslaughter, which carries a sentence of zero to 40 years in prison.

But he is determined to fight that move. However, when it comes to a reduced fee, he told DailyMail.com: "The Fletchers have been doing this to Lacey for 20 years. They need at least that much time.'

The prosecutor also had an intriguing thought related to the fact that Lacey was hidden from the world for about 15 years.

"It strikes me that Lacey hasn't been seen for so long, which stopped the Fletchers from just taking her body outside at night and burying it in her backyard," he said. "No one would know."

He told DailyMail.com the pair's first indictment is expected to take place within two months and a trial could begin in October.

Coroner Bickham told DailyMail.com that the footage shown to the jury was so gruesome and disturbing that doctors were on standby for the 12 members of the panel.

Clay Fletcher, seen with Sheila in an undated photo, is an officer with the nonprofit Civil War Roundtable in Baton Rouge, whose mission is to "promote appreciation for the sacrifices everyone made during the Civil War."

An undated photo of Clay, 65, and Sheila, 64, Fletcher, in front of the Christmas tree

He added that the photos left those in the courtroom speechless.

"When I presented the case and showed the photos and gave the timeline, the grand jury looked completely shocked," he said. "As if the clock on the wall had never moved again.

"There was complete silence. Some jurors gasped in horror. Some looked on in disbelief.”

Bickham also told DailyMail.com the case was very difficult for him personally, and described Monday's grand jury trial as "a long, emotional day".

He added, "Seeing those photos again and reliving that traumatic experience was very difficult."

Speaking to the courtroom after the grand jury's decision, the coroner revealed that Lacey has been on the couch for at least 12 years.

"Evidence shows at least 12 years," he said. "It could be before. At least 12 years. An awfully long time.

(Video) THE WORST CASE! | Lacey Fletcher case

Late Tuesday night, Sheila Fletcher left East Feliciana Parish Jail - just over 24 hours after her arrest. But husband Clay remained behind bars for another night because the bail could not be raised in time.

Sheila, 64, left jail Tuesday night after posting $300,000 bail - just over 24 hours after her arrest

The mother, who faces murder charges in the death of her autistic daughter Lacey, was spotted leaving East Feliciana Parish Jail

The bespectacled mum - pictured in exclusive DailyMail.com photos disembarking - stared resolutely ahead and refused to answer our questions as she left with a hastily arranged bail bondsman.

She removed her orange prison jumpsuit and left at 10:30 p.m. local time in a blue top with white patches and blue pants. Her short blond hair looked disheveled.

She declined to say if she felt any remorse for Lacey or explain how her daughter spent 12 years rotting on a couch.

Husband Clay was released at 10:25 a.m. Wednesday after paying his $300,000 bail after being overdue the night before.


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Sheila was seen returning to the prison with the same guarantor around 10am to pick up her husband. She wore a dark red blouse, blue pants, white sneakers and carried a large gold bag.

(Video) Dead woman found 'melted' into couch, soaked in urine, feces, covered in maggots

She left with Clay after he removed his orange jumpsuit and filled out the necessary paperwork for him to go to freedom.

The black-clad husband also just stared straight ahead as he quickly walked to the pickup truck parked near the prison's front door.

No one answered the same questions DailyMail.com asked Sheila the night before.


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