The parents of a woman whose body was found decomposing in a couch could face charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter, officials say.
Lacey Ellen Fletcher, 36, was found dead inside her house in Slaughter, Louisiana, her body crouched into a crater of the couch in the living room, formed due to her anchoring to the spot for an unspecified amount of time.
District attorney Sam D’Aquilla said police officials were informed of Fletcher’s death on 3 January by the woman’s mother Sheila Fletcher, who called 911.
On reaching the house, deputies found a “strong stench” emanating. Fletcher’s body was surrounded by faeces and urine, and there were severe ulcers on the body’s underside, Mr D’Aquilla told The Sun earlier this week.
She had several bacterial infections and had tested positive for Covid, according to the East Feliciana Parish coroner Dr Ewell Dewitt Bickham III.
The woman, who had been homeschooled since high school and suffered social anxiety as a teen, had worn through the sofa’s upholstery, the district attorney said.
Fletcher’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.
While her parents Sheila and Clay Fletcher have not been arrested or charged with any crimes so far, the district attorney is slated to bring second-degree charges on them with help of a grand jury. The hearing is expected to take place next week, on 2 May.
Calling it a horrific episode, Mr D’Aquilla said: “The caretakers just let her sit on the couch. She just urinated and used the bathroom on the couch.”
Additionally, the parents can be charged with manslaughter, cruelty to the infirmed, or negligent homicide, Mr D’Aquilla said, according to the report.