Coroner ‘never’ saw ‘homicide’ scene like Lacey Fletcher, woman found ‘melted’ to couch: ‘It still bothers me today’

Coroner ‘never’ saw ‘homicide’ scene like Lacey Fletcher, woman found ‘melted’ to couch: ‘It still bothers me today’

The coroner called to examine Lacey Fletcher after her body was found “melted” in a waste-filled crater in her family’s couch has “never seen a homicide like this” — and is still disturbed by what he saw.

Fletcher, 36, was found covered in urine and feces and “fused” to the maggot-ridden couch at her parents’ East Feliciana, La., home in January 2022 — and this week, Sheila and Clay Fletcher pleaded no contest to manslaughter over her horrifying death.

“I’ve seen every kind of death there is. I’ve never seen a homicide like this. I have never seen a human being literally tortured and allowed to die while she is alive,” Dr. Ewell Bickham told NewsNation’s Ashleigh Banfield Thursday.

“I’ve never seen that (in) my life. … Lacey did not decompose. She rotted in her own body, in that hole, in that sewer, in the couch.”

Prosecutors said Fletcher had lain there, wasting away and in great suffering, for about 12 years and blamed her parents for the neglect. She weighed 100 pounds at the time of her death.

She had reportedly been diagnosed with autism, and her parents claim she refused to eat when they tried to feed her, leading to her being unable to leave the couch and her eventual death.

Strangely, prior photos show a young and bright-looking Fletcher at school at Brownsville Baptist Academy, where she was on the volleyball team before she was apparently homeschooled after 9th grade.

A photo of Lacey Fletcher when she was a teenager.

Lacey Fletcher played on a volleyball team in school and was described as a “fun kid” until she vanished from sight about 15 years ago. News Nation

A neighbor, Robert Blades, 61, said she was “just a normal fun kid” before vanishing from view 15 years ago, after her parents said she had also developed “anxiety” and took her to psychologists, the Daily Mail reported.

Bickham told NewsNation he was still trying to process the awful scene he witnessed — and was horrified by the smell in the house before he even got to Fletcher’s body.

“When I walked in, the house smelled of a stench of, it smelled like a sewer, or septic tank and also a smell of death,” he said. “I’ve never smelled that in my life. I’ve dealt with decomposed bodies. I’ve dealt with all sorts of death, degradation, whatever, never experienced this in all of my career.”

Photos of the couch where Lacey Fletcher died/.

Lacey Fletcher was found “fused” or “melted” into this couch, her legs crossed and contracted and her emaciated body covered with sores, maggots and fecal matter. News Nation

(NewsNation) — Dr. Ewell Bickham, the coroner who examined Lacey Fletcher after her body was found “melted” into a sofa, wants the graphic photos of Fletcher shown to the public.

“I’ve never seen that (in) my life. … Lacey did not decompose. She rotted in her own body, in that hole, in that sewer, in the couch,” Bickham recalled. News Nation

Bickham said Fletcher’s parents were in the house when he arrived. Her father was “emotionless” while her mother sat with her “head between her knees” and shed “a tear or two.”

What he found in the room to their left shocked him — and continues to traumatize him, he said.

“It still bothers me today. Like I said, I’ve seen every kind of death there is. I’ve seen elderly people die of natural causes. I’ve seen suicides, homicides, I’ve seen everything there is.”

A photo of Lacey Fletcher who attended Brownsville Baptist Academy and played on this volleyball team.

Lacey attended the former Brownsville Baptist Academy in Louisiana where she was part (top left) on the school volleyball team Handout

Bickham said there was no evidence that Fletcher was being fed except for a small bag of hard candy nearby. He said her stomach contained both yellow foam from the couch and feces.

“So you take it from there,” he said.

Bickham also told NewsNation that he did not believe Sheila and Clay Fletcher lived with their daughter in the house.

“I don’t believe they were living in the home,” he said. “You could not live in the house. Nobody could stand the stench, to be honest with you. I think there was something adjacent.”

A photo of Clay and Sheila Fletcher.

Clay and Sheila Fletcher pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of manslaughter and are out on bail awaiting sentencing. Facebook

Lacey Fletcher had sores and bone visible when she was found and had been infested with maggots — including around her genitals — while she was still alive, documents obtained from the Daily Mail indicate.

Her parents were initially arrested in January 2022 after Fletcher was discovered dead inside the hole in the couch.

A booking photo of Sheila Fletcher.

Lawyers for the family insist that Sheila Fletcher loved and cared for her daughter. East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s

Clay and Sheila Fletcher   A grand jury has found enough evidence for the parents of a woman who died in their home to stand trial for murder.  The parents are now facing a charge of second-degree murder. A trial date has not been set. According to the East Feliciana Parish Coronerâs Office, based on evidence, it looks like Lacey Fletcher, 36, of Slaughter, was on that couch for almost 12 years. Coroner Dr. Ewell Dewitt Bickham III said she died on Jan. 3. A grand jury of 12 in Clinton charged Lacey Fletcherâs parents, Clay and Sheila Fletcher, with second-degree murder on May 2.

Clay Fletcher and his wife pleaded no contest to manslaughter — with prosecutors seeking 40 years behind bars. East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s

The couple, who faced second-degree murder charges, pleaded no contest Monday to reduced charges of manslaughter.

The Fletchers spent almost 18 months denying second-degree murder after being indicted twice by a grand jury in Clinton, Louisiana. They had faced the possibility of life in prison without parole if convicted at a trial due to start this week.

They are out on bond until Feb. 20. Their next court hearing is at the East Feliciana Courthouse on March 20.


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